US teenagers shun sex, want it safe: Study

Washington, July 23 (IANS) More and more teenagers in the US are using contraceptives in a decade, says Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a latest study.

It also said that the number of teenagers having sex has also come down in the last 25 years.

The study found that 44 percent of women and 47 percent of men in the age group of 15-19 reported having had sex between 2011 and 2013.

In 1988, 51 percent of females and 60 percent of males in this age group had reported having had sex, CNN reported.

For this, the team used data from more than 2,000 female and male teenagers in households across the US as a part of the National Survey of Family Growth.

Similar to the trend in sexual activity, the rate of contraceptive use was also found slightly high.

For example, 97 percent of female teenagers in 2011 to 2013 reported having used a condom at least once, compared with 94 percent in 2002, the findings showed.

Teenagers who waited until they were in their late teens (18 and 19) before having sex were more likely to use contraception the first time they had sex.

“This is possibly because they were more educated about sex and pregnancy,” Gladys M. Martinez, statistician at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics and one of the authors was quoted as saying.

Female teenagers who did not use contraception the first time they had sex were two to five times more likely to have a baby during their teen years, the study said.

“One of the goals in this report is to look at factors that influence teen childbearing,” Martinez added.

The time between 1988 and 1995 is really what is responsible for this decline, when there was increased education about sex in response to the HIV epidemic, the report said.

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