Are teens more sexually active today than they were 20 years ago? Are there more teen pregnancies today than there were 20 years ago? Most of you would probably answer, “Yes” to both those questions. After all, every generation gets worse and worse, right?
The Stories Students Tell!
When I hear adults question whether it’s realistic to expect teens to abstain from sex, I want to bring them with me to the schools or let them read some of the more than 10,000 letters that I have received from high school students over the past 11 years.
I’m going to start this out by saying please don’t ever stop what you’re doing. I really hate how we’ve resulted to preaching strictly 'safe sex' in order to adapt to our generation. This is just assuming that we can’t stop people, especially teens, who aren’t married from having sex, that sex is inevitably going to happen. From my personal experience, I urge you to teach especially girls to respect themselves and think about the future risks. Abstaining from sex isn’t 'old school;' can we please make it 'new school' or something? Thanks again!
Not only are teens telling me it is a realistic expectation, national studies confirm that more and more teens are in fact abstaining.
According to the latest data available, among U.S. high school students surveyed in 2011, less than half (47.4%) had ever had sexual intercourse. In comparison, in 1991 the number of U.S. high school students who had ever had sex was 54.1%. Though there needs to be more progress, we are definitely moving in the right direction.
If the percentage of sexually active teens decreases, wouldn’t you automatically expect the percentage of teen pregnancies and births to also decrease? Check out the info graphic below to see those numbers.
Yes! It is about time we heard some good news. Yet few adults are aware of this great national success story.
Everybody’s NOT Doing It!
It is even more surprising that teens are not even aware of the fact that teens not having sex are in the majority today. One of the reasons teens tell me they have sex is because they think “everybody’s doing it,” as evidenced by this young lady's letter:
This class has changed how I look at things. Before, I thought that everybody was having sex and that being a teenage virgin was the equivalent to being a unicorn. Now I see who the real majority is! Thanks!
Knowing they are not alone in choosing to abstain would take a lot of pressure off many teens. So please pass this good news on to your teen!
Are you surprised to find that teen sexual activity, pregnancy and birth rates are lower than they were 20 years ago? Why do you think that is the case?