June 2nd, 2010
02:55 PM ET

Teens having sex: Numbers staying steady

By Saundra Young
CNN Medical Senior Producer

The number of teenagers having sex hasn't changed much over the last eight years, according to a new report looking at sexual behavior in adolescents ages 15-19. The report, from the National Survey of Family Growth (NFSG), was released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. It looked at trends in sexual activity, contraceptive use and attitudes towards pregnancy in unmarried teenagers, and found there have been not significant changes since the last NFSG report in 2002.

Based on data from a two year period between 2006 and 2008, it found more than 42 percent - or 4.3 million - teenage girls have had sex at least once. That number was 43 percent - or 4.5 million - for teenage boys. Nearly 30 percent of boys and girls surveyed have had 2 or more partners. Teenage girls who were younger when they had their first sexual encounter were more likely to have more partners. And teens whose mothers had their first child as a teenager and, at 14, did not have both parents in the home were more likely to be sexually active.

Joyce Abma, Ph.D., a Demographer at the National Center for Health Statistics and coauthor of the study, says the message is mixed. "It's a bit concerning that the data suggest a loss of momentum compared to the study improvements of the 90s. But there are still some positive signs and things going in the right direction so it seems as though efforts still need to be focused on motivating teens to prevent pregnancy and that's especially true since the US teen birth rate is so much higher than in comparable countries."

According to Abma, the country with the next highest teen birth rate is the United Kingdom–and our rate is 1 1/2 times higher, and the gap keeps growing after that. In Canada the teen birth rate is 13 per 1,000. Here, it's 43 per 1,000."

The encouraging news is that nearly 80 percent of teenage girls and 90 percent of teen boys used some sort of contraceptive during their first sexual encounter. Condoms remain the most commonly used form of birth control. Ninety-five percent of sexually experienced girls used them at least once. Withdrawal was next, followed by the pill.

Usually, first partners were someone the teen was going steady with. Next, was someone they just met, although these encounters were more apt to occur with boys than girls. For teenagers abstaining altogether, the most common reason for doing so was that it was against their moral or religious beliefs. Pregnancy was second. Interestingly enough, pregnancy was not always a deterrent. In fact, parents might be startled to learn nearly a quarter of boys and girls who have had sex said they would be "pleased" if they got pregnant or got a partner pregnant. And a majority of teens – 64 percent of males and 71 percent of females - felt it was ok to have a child out of wedlock.

"I was a bit surprised with the level of agreement that unmarried childbearing is acceptable and the fact that it increased among males. That in combination with attitude results seem to suggest that males are less concerned about causing a pregnancy compared to the 2002 survey." Abma said.

Unfortunately, the survey found teenage girls in the 15-19 age group still have higher Chlamydia and gonorrhea rates than any other age group and teen boys. Almost half of all new sexually transmitted diseases are in teens and young adults ages 15 to 24 years old.

The study was based on in-person interviews of nearly 3,000 teenagers. The report can be found on-line at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs. Data from a new survey currently underway will be available next year and will add to current findings and will be broken down by race and Hispanic origin.

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.

soundoff (1,006 Responses)
  1. Best Books On Leadership

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you, However I am having issues with your RSS. I donít know why I am unable to join it. Is there anyone else having identical RSS problems? Anyone who knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!


    June 26, 2021 at 23:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. now playing podcast

    I absolutely love your website.. Great colors & theme. Did you create this site yourself? Please reply back as Iím planning to create my very own site and want to learn where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Thank you!


    June 27, 2021 at 02:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Women's Leadership Conference

    Good site you've got here.. Itís hard to find excellent writing like yours these days. I seriously appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!


    June 27, 2021 at 05:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Coaching Leadership Style

    Good blog post. I absolutely love this site. Keep it up!


    June 27, 2021 at 07:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. As A Manager Seeks To Develop Her Leadership Skills, She Should Be Aware That:


    June 27, 2021 at 10:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Teens Leadership


    June 27, 2021 at 11:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Leadership Qualities


    June 27, 2021 at 12:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Authentic Leadership


    June 27, 2021 at 13:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RV Repair San Clemente California

    Hi there, I believe your blog could be having internet browser compatibility problems. Whenever I take a look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in Internet Explorer, it's got some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Besides that, excellent blog!


    June 27, 2021 at 20:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Repairs Near My Location

    Good info. Lucky me I found your website by accident (stumbleupon). I have saved as a favorite for later!


    June 27, 2021 at 21:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Van Frame Repair

    Saved as a favorite, I love your web site!


    June 27, 2021 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Repair

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe that this amazing site needs a lot more attention. Iíll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the information!


    June 27, 2021 at 22:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RV Repair Near Me Now


    June 27, 2021 at 23:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me


    June 28, 2021 at 11:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RV Repair Shops Near My Location

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article! It is the little changes that will make the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


    June 28, 2021 at 14:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Promaster Van Conversion

    Everyone loves it when folks get together and share opinions. Great website, keep it up!


    June 28, 2021 at 19:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Rv Technician Shop


    June 28, 2021 at 19:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. casino online

    Trực Tiếp Bóng Đá Thời Điểm Hôm Nay, Links Coi Soccer Trực Tuyến 24h xem bong da truc tuyenĐội tuyển chọn Việt Nam chỉ muốn một kết trái hòa có bàn thắng để lần thứ hai góp mặt tại World Cup futsal. Nhưng, nhằm làm được điều đó


    June 28, 2021 at 20:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. RV Repair Near Me


    June 28, 2021 at 21:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Mercedes Sprinter Refrigerater Repair

    I enjoy reading an article that can make people think. Also, thanks for allowing for me to comment!


    June 29, 2021 at 01:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV Repair Huntington Beach

    Everything is very open with a precise description of the issues. It was really informative. Your website is extremely helpful. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 29, 2021 at 01:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Mercedes Luxury Van Repair

    You're so awesome! I do not think I have read a single thing like that before. So nice to discover another person with some original thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is one thing that is needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!


    June 29, 2021 at 02:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Camper Repair Places Near Me


    June 29, 2021 at 03:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. RV Repair San Clemente California

    Very good write-up. I certainly appreciate this website. Continue the good work!


    June 29, 2021 at 04:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Service B Mercedes Sprinter

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful article. Thanks for providing this info.


    June 29, 2021 at 04:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Ram Cargo Van Repair Shop Near Me

    Itís hard to find well-informed people about this topic, however, you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 29, 2021 at 07:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Rv Mechanic


    June 29, 2021 at 11:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Sprinter Van Inside Computer Repair Shop


    June 29, 2021 at 13:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Repair Near My Location


    June 29, 2021 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Repair Shops Near Me

    You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the most useful sites on the internet. I am going to highly recommend this site!


    June 29, 2021 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. https://mpc-install.com/punbb-1.4.6/viewtopic.php?id=636131

    I truly love your website.. Great colors & theme.
    Did you make this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I'm wanting to create my own website and want to learn where you got this from or
    what the theme is named. Kudos!

    Feel free to surf to my web site – TechPro Wifi (https://mpc-install.com/punbb-1.4.6/viewtopic.php?id=636131)

    June 29, 2021 at 18:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Rv Mechanic

    I blog often and I truly thank you for your content. This great article has truly peaked my interest. I will bookmark your site and keep checking for new information about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.


    June 29, 2021 at 19:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Airstream Van Repair Near Me

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon every day. It will always be helpful to read through articles from other authors and practice a little something from other sites.


    June 29, 2021 at 20:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Repair Places Near Me


    June 29, 2021 at 21:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. https://corhuay.com/webboard/index.php?action=profile;u=322596

    Rattling superb visual appeal on this website, I'd rate it 10.

    Feel free to visit my webpage Male Enhancement AM Review; https://corhuay.com/webboard/index.php?action=profile;u=322596,

    June 29, 2021 at 22:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. mpc-install.com

    I like the efforts you have put in this, thanks for all the
    great articles.

    Here is my web blog: TechPro Wifi (mpc-install.com)

    June 30, 2021 at 02:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Van Dent Repair


    June 30, 2021 at 02:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Camper Repair Near Me


    June 30, 2021 at 02:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Luxury Van Repair


    June 30, 2021 at 04:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Repair


    June 30, 2021 at 05:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Sprinter V6 Return Line Repair

    There's certainly a great deal to find out about this subject. I like all the points you made.


    June 30, 2021 at 05:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Nearest RV Repair


    June 30, 2021 at 06:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. http://www2s.biglobe.ne.jp

    I could not refrain from commenting. Well written!

    Feel free to surf to my homepage Virile XL Male Enhancement [http://www2s.biglobe.ne.jp]

    June 30, 2021 at 07:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Luxury Van Repair Shop

    Excellent blog post. I definitely appreciate this website. Stick with it!


    June 30, 2021 at 10:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Rosella Dorais

    great issues altogether, you simply gained a new reader. What might you recommend about your submit that you just made some days ago? Any certain?


    January 21, 2022 at 18:18 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Leave a Reply to Sprinter Tcu Repair


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.