What's sex like for teens? Government scientists wanted to know, so they rounded up nearly 5, teenagers ages 15 to 19 and asked about how frequently they have sex, who's hooking up with whom, what kind of birth control they use, etc. Keep clicking to see six fascinating findings from the CDC survey Girlfriends, boyfriends - one-night stands? Who are teens having sex with these days?
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More than 42 percent of never-married adolescents ages 15 to 19 say they have had sex at least once. Researchers from the National Center for Health Statistics report that from to , Among the majority who had not had sex, the reasons varied. More than 35 percent of girls and almost 28 percent of boys said that it was against their religion or moral code.
While most are restrained in their attitudes and behavior, millions of teenagers are sexually active, with many millions more poised at the doorstep of their sexual lives. This ABC News poll of to year-olds, conducted in summer , provides some reassuring answers -- and others that are cause for alarm. It finds that the vast majority of teens reject casual sex. But the survey also found plenty of risky behavior: Among teens who've had sexual intercourse, nearly one in four say they or their partner don't always use a condom, and 14 percent don't always use any reliable birth control. Two-thirds of them have had more than one sex partner. Seven in 10 say their first time was unplanned. Communication is a critical tool in helping teens navigate this minefield -- but only half of sexually active teens say they've ever discussed sex with their parents. Meanwhile many teens are being bombarded with sexual messages: More than half, especially girls, say there's too much sex on TV.
This article is part of our sex edition, commemorating 45 years since we ran our first student sex survey. Natalie Cerf. This year the Redwood Bark surveyed students about their sexual experiences, teens under the influence, teens in love and issues all in between. The last time the Bark conducted the sex survey was in and the first time was in To learn about how students then and now are living their teenage years, continue reading. Nationwide, 98 percent of males and females identify as straight. In a survey done by the National Health Interview in ,