Contrary to conventional wisdom, most high school students in the United States are not having sex.
That’s according to the Center for Disease Control’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which found the percentage of high schoolers in the U.S. who have had sex plummeted, from 47.8 percent in 2007 to 39.5 percent in 2017. Additionally, the percentage of students who have had four or more partners also fell, from 15 percent to 10 percent.
The survey polled about 15,000 students.
The percentage of teens having sex began declining after 2011, when it was 47.4 percent. It then fell to 46.8 percent (2013), 41.2 percent (2015) and 39.5 percent (2013).
The decline was seen in males and females, the CDC reported.
“The percentage of male students who ever had sex decreased significantly from 2007 (49.8 percent) through 2017 (41.4 percent),” the report read. “The percentage of female students who ever had sex decreased significantly from 2007 (45.9 percent) through 2017 (37.7 percent).”
Ironically, the drop in teens having sex has paralleled a rise in the percentage of adults who approve of it. A record 42 percent of adults now believe that sex between teens is morally OK, according to Gallup. That number was 36 percent in 2017.
“Religiosity plays a significant role in Americans' views on teenage sex,” Gallup’s Justin McCarthy wrote. “A slight majority of U.S. adults who seldom or never go to church (54 percent) find sex between teens morally acceptable, while a much smaller 20 percent of weekly churchgoers agree. About one in three adults who attend church nearly weekly or monthly (34 percent) find teenage sex morally acceptable.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/Halfpoint
Publication date: June 15, 2018