Mark Pitman

Quick Facts 2019: Sex Education in America, part 3

Teen Opinions About Sex

  • Most adolescents support reserving sex for marriage, both in general and for themselves.25
  • About one half of 18 and 19 year olds wish they had waited longer before becoming sexually active.26
  • More than 80% of older teens believe it is possible for a person to choose to stop having sex after having had sex in the past.27
  • Although culture is increasingly sexually explicit, the majority of teens are not having sex.28
  • More than 80% of 18 and 19 year olds say they don’t like the idea of casual sex.29
  • About 40% of teens say that their sex ed classes make them feel pressured to have sex. 32% say they feel pressure from their dating partner.30

American’s Opinion On Sex Education

  • Most Americans want teens to avoid all the possible consequences of sex, not just teen pregnancy.31
  • The majority of American parents, regardless of race or political party, support Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) education with similar enthusiasm, endorsing all the major themes presented in an SRA education class.32
  • More than 8 of 10 parents, but especially women and African Americans, support the dominant themes of SRA education. 33
  • Nearly 9 in 10 parents strongly support the way SRA programs share the medically accurate limitations of condoms for preventing pregnancy and disease.34
  • Most parents want their children to wait for marriage before having sex.35
  • Almost 3/4 of parents are opposed to premarital sex both in general and for their own adolescents.36

25U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2010) National Survey of Adolescents and Their Parents: Attitudes and Opinions About Sex and Abstinence. Washington, D. C. : HHS. Accessed August 29, 2011 at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/content/docs/20090226_abstinence.pdf) 62% say that it is against their values to have sex before marriage; 75% believe that having sex would
make life difficult; 84% oppose sex at their age; 69% oppose sex while in high school. (p. 61)

26Barna Group. (2015). Teens Speak Out survey. Ventura: Author. Albert, B. (2012). With One Voice 2012. Washington, DC: the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. Retrieved March 18, 2015 at https://thenationalcampaign.org/sites/default/files/resourceprimary-download/wov_2012.pdf This older survey shows that among younger teens, the regret is even more pronounced.

27Barna Group. (2015). Teens Speak Out survey. Ventura: Author.

28CDC (2018). High School YRBS: 2017. 3CDC (2018). High School YRBS: 2017. Retrieved August 6, 2018 at https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs/index.htm

29Barna Group. (2015). Teens Speak Out survey. Ventura: Author.

30Barna Group. (2015). Teens Speak Out survey. Ventura: Author.

31Barna Group. (2015). Americans Speak Out survey. Ventura: Author. Retrieved April 9, 2018 at https://tinyurl.com/yc2szsay

32Barna Group. (2015). Americans Speak Out survey. Ventura: Author. Retrieved April 9, 2018 at https://tinyurl.com/yc2szsay

33Barna Group. (2015). Americans Speak Out survey. Ventura: Author. Retrieved April 9, 2018 at https://tinyurl.com/yc2szsay

34Barna Group. (2015). Americans Speak Out survey. Ventura: Author. Retrieved April 9, 2018 at https://tinyurl.com/yc2szsay

35Pulse Opinion Research (2012). Parents Speak Out. Available at www.WhatTheyToldUs.org

36U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2010) National Survey of Adolescents and Their Parents: Attitudes and Opinions About Sex and Abstinence. Washington, D. C.: HHS. Accessed August 29, 2011 at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/content/docs/20090226_abstinence.pdf)

 

Quick Facts 2019: Sex Education in America © 2019 Ascend

Quick Facts 2019: Sex Education in America, part 2

Youth and Sexually Transmitted Disease

  • Although nearly all (83%) sexually experienced teen women have used some form of contraception,15 STDs continue to be at epidemic levels among youth.
  • Young adults (age 15-24) contract about 10 million new STDs each year, costing about $8 billion in direct medical costs.16
  • About 40% of sexually active teen girls (aged 14-19) have at least one STD. 17
  • Half of all new STDs are found among youth, aged 15-24, although they only represent 1/4 of the sexually experienced population.18
  • The four most common STDs among teen girls are (in order): HPV, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, herpes, and gonorrhea.19
  • Herpes and HPV can be easily transmitted even with the use of a condom because they can be spread by skin-to-skin contact.20
  • Young adults (15-24) account for more than half of all reported cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea.21
  • Most STDs are present without any symptoms.22
  • The annual number of new infections is roughly equal among young men and young women, but women bear the burden of most of the negative consequences from STDs.23
  • Gonorrhea is considered an urgent threat because it is showing resistance to the last line of antibiotics usually used to treat it.24
  • Although the majority of teens are not sexually active, those who are, are at great risk for contracting or transmitting an STD.

14CDC (2018). Youth Online High School YRBS: 2017. Atlanta: author.

15Ibid

16CDC (2013) Fact Sheet: Incidence, Prevalence and Cost of STIs in the US. Accessed at http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/STI-Estimates-Fact-Sheet-Feb-2013.pdf

17Forhan, S. E., Gottlieb, S. L., Sternberg, M. R., Xu, F., Datta, S. D., McQuillan, G. M., et al. (2009). Prevalence of sexually transmitted infections among female adolescents aged 14 to 19 in the United States. Pediatrics, 124(6), 1505-1512. Workowski, K. A., & Bolan, G. A. (2015). Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2015. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 64(3). Retrieved May 4, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/tg-2015-print.pdf.

18CDC. Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Adolescents and Young Adults. 2018. cdc.gov/std/life-stagespopulations/adolescents-youngadults.htm

19CDC: (2014) 2013 Sexually Transmitted Diseases. STDs in adolescents and young adults. Accessed March 18, 2015 at http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats13/adol.htm

20Centers for Disease Control. ( 2017) Genital Herpes – CDC fact sheet. Accessed February 2018 at http://www. cdc.gov/std/herpes/stdfact-herpes.htm Centers for Disease Control. (2017) Genital HPV infection – Fact sheet. Accessed February 2018 at http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm

21CDC. Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Adolescents and Young Adults. 2018. cdc.gov/std/life-stagespopulations/adolescents-youngadults.htm CDC. (2016) Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance, STDS in Adolescents and Young Adults accessed April 2018 at https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats16/adolescents.htm

22World Health Organization. (2013) Sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Accessed at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs110/en/Workowski, K. A., & Bolan, G. A. (2015). Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2015. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 64(3). Retrieved May 4, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/tg-2015-print.pdf.

23CDC (2013) Fact Sheet: Incidence, Prevalence and Cost of STIs in the US. Accessed at http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/STI-Estimates-Fact-Sheet-Feb-2013.pdf CDC (2016). Sexually Transmitted Diseases. STDs in Adolescents and Young Adults Accessed March 2018 at https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats16/adolescents.htm CDC Fact Sheet: Information for Teens and Young Adults: Staying Healthy and Preventing STDs Accessed at https://www.cdc.gov/std/life-stages-populations/stdfact-teens.htm

24White House (2014). National strategy for combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Washington, DC. Accessed March 18, 2015 at https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/carb_national_strategy.pdf ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE THREATS IN THE UNITED STATES, 2013 Accessed March 18, 2015 at http://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/threat-report-2013/pdf/ar-threats-2013-508.pdf

Quick Facts 2019: Sex Education in America © 2019 Ascend

Quick Facts 2019: Sex Education in America, part 1


Teen Sexual Behavior

  • Among 15-17 year olds, 69% of boys and 72% of girls have never had sexual intercourse.1
  • Among 15-17 year olds, 52.4 % of boys and 60.3% of girls have never had any sexual contact with the opposite sex, which includes sexual activities that are not limited to sexual intercourse.2
  • Between 1991 and 2017 the percentage of high schoolers that never engaged in sexual intercourse increased by 32%.3
  • In the past 26 years, the percent of high school females who are waiting for sex has increased 27%.4
  • In the past 26 years, the percent of high school males who are waiting for sex has increased 38%.5
  • The percent of black teens who have not had sex increased 193%, but the increase for black males was 297% between 1991 and 2017. This signifies the greatest improvement of
    any other group.6
  • Since 1991, teen birth rates have declined 67%.7
  • 89% of all teen births are to unmarried parents.8
  • The most recent data reports that about 29% of pregnancies among 15-19 year olds end in abortion, down from 46% in 1986.9
  • Teen abortion rates are at their lowest point since abortion was legalized and just 24% of the peak rate in 1988.10
  • The likelihood of using contraception increases the longer a teen delays sex, providing an additional reason to promote sexual delay. 11
  • More sexually active high schoolers are using long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), but are failing to use a condom as well, in order to offer STD risk reduction.12
  • Sexually active high school students were 13% more likely to use a condom in 2007 than in 2017.13
  • 54% of sexually active high school students used a condom during last intercourse, the only contraception that also reduces the risk of acquiring an STD.14

1 National Center for Health Statistics. (2015, Nov) Key statistics from the National Survey of Family Growth– T Listing. National Survey of Family Growth. National Health Statistics Reports 2011-2015. Retrieved on February 16, 2018 at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nsfg/key_statistics/t.htm#teenagers Abma JC, Martinez GM. Sexual activity and contraceptive use among teenagers in the United States, 2011–2015. National health statistics reports; no 104. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2017.

2 National Center for Health Statistics. (2011). Sexual behavior, sexual attraction, and sexual identity in the United States: Data from the 2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth. National Health Statistics Reports. 36 :17, 18

3 CDC (2018). High School YRBS: 2017. Retrieved August 6, 2018 at https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs/index.htm

4 Ibid.

5 Ibid.

6 Ibid. Two decades ago nearly 9 in 10 black male teens had sex and now the number is slightly less than 5 in 10. While still too high, the improvement translates into more options and opportunities for these teens.

7 National Campaign to Prevent Teen & Unplanned Pregnancy. (2016) National and State Date. Retrieved February 16, 2018 at http://thenationalcampaign.org/data/landing#page-content. This data is 2015 data. Hamilton BE, Martin JA, Osterman MJK, et al. Births: Provisional data for 2016. Vital statistics rapid release; no 2. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. June 2017. Available from: https://www.cdc. gov/nchs/data/vsrr/ report002.pdf.

8 Child Trends (2016, Nov). Teen Births. Page 2. Retrieved February 2018 at https://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/13_Teen_Birth.pdf Martin, J. A., Hamilton, B. E., Ventura, S. J., Osterman, M. J. K., Curtin, S.C., & Mathews, T. J. (2013). Births:
Final data for 2012. National Vital Statistics Reports, 62(9). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr62/nvsr62_09.pdf

9 Kost K, Maddow-Zimet I and Arpaia A, Pregnancies, Births and Abortions Among Adolescents and Young Women in the United States, 2013: National and State Trends by Age, Race and Ethnicity, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2017, https://www.guttmacher.org/report/us-adolescent-pregnancy-trends-2013.

10Ibid

11Abma JC, Martinez GM. Sexual activity and contraceptive use among teenagers in the United States, 2011–2015. National health statistics reports; no 104. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2017.

12CDC (2018). Youth Online High School YRBS: 2017. Atlanta: author.

13CDC (2018). Youth Online High School YRBS: 2017, 2009. 62% of sexually active high school students used a condom during last intercourse in 2007 and only 54% did so in 2017.

14CDC (2018). Youth Online High School YRBS: 2017. Atlanta: author.

Quick Facts 2019: Sex Education in America © 2019 Ascend

Just the facts

Each Day in America for All Children

5 children are killed by abuse or neglect.
8 children or teens die by suicide.
22 children or teens die from accidents.
50 children or teens are injured with a gun.
59 children or teens are injured or killed with a gun.
61 babies die before their first birthday.
126 children are arrested for violent crimes.
248 children are arrested for drug crimes.
589 public school students are corporally punished.*
773 babies are born into extreme poverty.
826 babies are born without health insurance.
860 babies are born with low birthweight.
1,683 babies are born into poverty.
1,844 children are confirmed as abused or neglected.
1,995 children are arrested.
2,956 high school students drop out.*
14,640 public school students are suspended.*

*Based on 180 school days a year

The State of America’s Children 2020, The Children’s Defense Fund

Path to your future

At Project Respect, we have lots of great information to provide youth.  We do that because we think youth deserve every opportunity to chart a path to their futures–one that is greatly improved when they don’t engage in risky activities, like teen sex. The decisions they make about sex can have a significant impact on their physical and emotional health, their relationships, and their future lives.

What is Sexual Risk Avoidance? (SRA)

Sexual Risk Avoidance is an educational approach based on the public health model of primary prevention to empower youth to avoid ALL the risks of sexual activity.

Good News: The Majority of Teens are Listening

And they are responding by waiting for sex. In fact, more are waiting today than at any other time in recent history. Ascend thinks parents, policy-makers, and sex education classes should support the healthiest choices for youth, both now and in the future. Ascend represents those who agree.

We Don’t Intend to Give Up. Not on Youth.

And not on their access to the skills, information, and encouragement to avoid all sexual activity, hopefully until they marry. We believe that helping teens eliminate – not simply reduce – sexual risk, is the right thing to do.

Because we believe where youth live or what their current reality looks like should not exclude them from the tools for the best possible health outcomes and future success.

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