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It seems like every time you turn on the TV there’s a talk show, news segment or drama (I’m looking at you, Gossip Girl) emphasizing the sexual promiscuity of American adolescents. It’s enough to make parents feel like they should lock teens in their rooms until they’re legal… or later. But a recent sex study done at Indiana University found that teens are more trustworthy than you may think.
The National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, one of the most comprehensive studies on sexual experiences ever done, is full of juicy information on the sex lives of Americans -- including teens as young as 14. But according to Dr. Dennis Fortenberry, who headed the adolescent portion of the study, a number of teens are, ahem, not active -- or at least are getting it on responsibly. “Many contemporary adolescents are being responsible by abstaining or by using condoms when having sex," he says. Phew!
Still, viewing the statistics doesn’t exactly put my mind at ease. As it turns out, 9 percent of males and 11 percent of females aged 14-15 are having sexual intercourse, while 30 percent of males and females are having sex at 16-17 years of age. The sliver of good news there: The study showed that use of condoms is common among those in this age range. Of the sexually active adolescents, 79 percent of males and 58 percent of females said they used a condom during their last sexual encounter, which is higher than other recent studies have suggested. Personally, I hope this is a sign that all the talk at schools about abstinence and protection and all the STD awareness campaigns are hitting home.
Do the new teen sex statistics make you feel better -- or do you think there's still cause for concern? Chime in below!