The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has released a report stating that sex among teenagers is at its lowest point in the last 25 years. Also, the number of teens using condoms grew slightly over the last 11 years.
Other highly reliable methods of contraception, such as intrauterine devices have yet to see increased use by teenagers. Withdrawal is still popular among teenage sex and is not very effective for preventing pregnancy.
According to a statistician at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, Gladys M. Martinez, “One of the goals in this report is to look at factors that influence teen childbearing.” Martinez was an author of the report that was released Wednesday.
The researchers studied factors of pregnancy such as contraceptive use and sexual activity. Although other factors are in play, such as living conditions, researchers didn’t focus on these.
The study found that between 2011 and 2013, 47% of males and 44% of females, ages 15 to 19, reported being sexually active. Since the previous survey period from 2006 to 2010, these numbers haven’t changed. However, the number of sexually active teens has drastically decreased since 1988.
The rate of contraceptive sue among teens hasn’t changed much either between the 2006 and 20011 surveys. Researchers also surveyed the use of other forms of contraception and found that since 2002; about 55% to 60% of teens have been using the pill or withdrawal. The use of intrauterine devices has stayed around 3%.
This report did not reveal how consistently these forms of contraception are used among teens, only how often. Consistency is the most important factor when preventing pregnancy, according to Laura Lindberg, a scientist at Guttmacher Institute.
Lindberg suggest that the decrease in sexual activity in teens is a result of the increase in sex education that arose from such high rates of HIV between 1988 and 1995. We want the rate of regular contraceptive use to be as high as possible, and we want healthy relationships," Lindberg said.
The study suggests that individuals, who wait until their late teens to be sexually active, are more likely to use contraception. Also, women who didn’t use contraception their first time, were two to five times more likely to get pregnant as a teenager.