American teens are having less sex than their parents did, and teen pregnancy rates might be declining because of it
teenagersare having less sexthan they were a decade ago, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- The report also found there have been fewer teen pregnancies and teen births since their peak in 1991.
- The report analyzed rates of teens having sex, using contraception, getting pregnant, and giving birth, using data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG).
- Teenage sex rates have been declining since they peaked in 1988, when just over half of all US teenagers had reported having sex before the age of 20.
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Despite what sex-fueled shows like "Euphoria" and "Skins" suggest, today's teens aren't as sexually active as media makes them out to be.
In fact, teens are having less sex than their parents were having at their age, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The report analyzed the rates of American teens (ages 15-19) having sex, using contraception, getting pregnant, and giving birth from 2002 to 2017 using data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG).
From 2015 to 2017, only 38% of teen boys who had never been married and 42% of teenage girls who had never been married had ever had sex.
In 2002, 46% of both teen boys and girls reported having sex before the age of 20.
Teen sex rates have been declining since they peaked in 1988, when just over half of all US teenagers had reported having sex before the age of 20.
While there is no singular explanation for the modern teenage sex recession, some researchers have speculated the rise of social media and access to smartphones may play a role.
In 2019, a different CDC report speculated social media platforms might play a role in the decline of teen sex because they provide access to information about STIs and sex in general. Smartphones may also play a role, the CDC said, because they allow teens to flirt, sext, and date without getting physical.
In addition to finding that teens are having less sex than they were even a decade ago, the new CDC report found that there were fewer teen pregnancies and births from 2015 to 2017 than in previous years.
The decline in teen pregnancies and birth parallels the same decline in teen sex from 1988 to 2017.
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