This article contains information on teen sex statistics; including statistics on teen sexual activity, teen contraceptive use and pregnancies, and teen sex statistics and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Keep reading for more on teen sex statistics.
Parents, concerned about the physical and emotional well-being of their children, often wonder where they can get information about how likely it is that their teens are engaging in sexual activity. Teen sex statistics make it clear that it is important to speak with children about safe sex and appropriate sexual behavior when they are younger. This is because, according to the Guttmacher Institute, by the age of 19, 70 percent of teenagers have engaged in sexual intercourse. This means that the chances are that your children will have sex as teenagers. Not talking about it won’t change anything.
Sexual activity and teenagers
Parents have a unique window of opportunity to educate their children about sexual intercourse and other issues related to sex. By age 15, only 13 percent of teenagers have had sex. This means that, on average, most teens do not become sexually active until after the age of 15 – with most kids have sex for the first time around the age of 17. While this might seem alarming, the Guttmacher Institute reports that this represents a shift; teens are actually waiting longer to have sex. However, even with this delay, teens are still having sex. It is also worth noting that of those teenagers who do not have sex by the time they are 20, 10 percent have engaged in oral sex.
Most females have sex for the first time with a partner who is between one and three years older. For the most part, the first sexual experience had by teen girls is with someone they are seeing regularly: boyfriend, fiancee, live-in partner or husband. It is worth noting that the younger a teen girl is when she has her first sexual experience, the more likely it is that it was involuntary.
Safe sex: contraceptives and STDs
While it can be uncomfortable, and many parents do not want their children learning about safe sex topics like contraceptives and even sexually transmitted illnesses (STIs), there is some merit to instructing teenagers in the proper use of products meant to encourage safe sex.
Teen sex statistics regarding contraceptives and pregnancy
Here are statistics revolving around contraceptives. It is clear that education in this area can help prevent unwanted pregnancies:
If a sexually active teen does not use contraceptives, there is a 90 percent chance that she will become pregnant inside a year.
- Most sexually active females use some sort of birth control. A condom is most common, since access to the pill is limited.
- 70 percent of teens whose parents are unaware of their sexual activity would not use contraceptives if their parents were made aware of their visits to family planning centers and clinics.
- 21 states (plus the District of Columbia) allow contraceptive services without parental involvement. The other states – with the exception of Utah and Texas, where parental consent is necessary – have notification policies, but consent is not required.
- 20 percent of teens whose parents are unaware of their contraceptive use say that they would continue having sex – even if methods of contraception were not available to them.
- Of all the developed nations, the U.S. has the highest rate of teen pregnancy. The U.S. has a teen pregnancy rate that is twice that of England and Canada and eight times that as Japan and the Netherlands.
- 82 percent of pregnancies amongst teens are unplanned. About 20 percent of all intended pregnancies each year are related to teenagers.
- 29 percent of teen pregnancies end in abortion. Most parents support a teen’s choice to have an abortion.
Teen sex statistics and STDs
Sexually transmitted illnesses are serious. Proper education could curb the spread of STIs among teenagers. Here are some teen sex stats related to STDs:
- 48 percent of new cases of STIs occur among those aged 15 to 24.
- Teens represent only about 25 percent of the sexually active population. This makes the incidence of STDs in teenagers rather high, proportionally.
- HPV accounts for close to half of the diagnosed STD cases each year for 14 to 24 year olds.
When one looks at the teen sex statistics, it is clear that most teenagers have sex. It appears that education can help delay teen pregnancy and even the age at which teens have sex. Fewer teens are having sex at an earlier age in the U.S. and the teen pregnancy rate is going down. This seems to indicate that improvement is being made on some levels.