At EmpowHer, we get more and more questions from teens – mostly female, but some male as well – about the actual mechanics of getting pregnant. They are worried that they are pregnant even though they had on five layers of clothing while having “dry sex.” Or they don’t know what could be wrong even though their period is two months late. Or they don’t know the names of male and female body parts, and answering their questions first becomes an exercise in translation. It’s clear that whatever sex education exists for these teens – whether abstinence-only or comprehensive – it’s not doing the job.
So it’s a little extra frightening to read the results of a new government survey released Wednesday by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. The report says that at least 40 percent of unmarried U.S. teens have had sex at least once, and 20 to 25 percent of them say they would be happy if a baby was the result.
"This is really quite alarming," Bill Albert, chief program officer at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned PregnancyAlbert, told HealthDay News. "I don't think it takes a Ph.D. to understand that in this day and age and in this economy the route to success doesn't begin with a family at age 16."
From the story:
“The study, which analyzed data from the 2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth, also found that about one-quarter of female teens and 29 percent of males reported two or more sexual partners, the same as 2002. Females who started having sex when they were younger were more likely to accumulate more partners.
“The majority of teens had used some form of contraception during their first intercourse: 79 percent of females and 87 percent of males. And condom use is on the rise. As in 2002, it ranked as the most common form of birth control and was used at least once by 95 percent of teens.
“The next favored form of birth control was withdrawal (58 percent), then the pill (55 percent).
“Seventeen percent of teens said they had used the rhythm method, as compared to 11 percent in 2002.”