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Teens Are Having Less Sex


(Unrelated photo by James Jones)

16 and Pregnant? Not anymore. Or, at least, less of it. The number of teenage mothers in the USA peaked in 1991, when it was considered a major public health crisis. But since 2006, the teen birthrate has plummeted, especially among Black and Hispanic populations.

Why? Scholars says that improved sex education and access to contraception has helped. But teens are also having sex less. The Washington Post explains:

“There has been a change in social norms that has happened in the past 20 years, and the idea of not having sex or delaying sex is now something that can be okay,” said Bill Albert, chief program officer for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

Veronica Gomez-Lobo, director of pediatric gynecology at Children’s National Medical Center, said the trend of abstinence has been mostly among younger teens rather than older ones. While there’s not good data on why this is happening, she thinks of it as a “contagion” factor: So many teens are waiting to have sex, she suggests, that the peer pressure goes opposite to the way that it might have in the past.

“We think this is a very healthy trend,” Gomez-Lobo said.

We would, of course, need hard data to confirm this impression.

-via Marginal Revolution


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Newest 5 Comments

This is an excellent point. The meaning of words changes over time.

I remember back in '97 or so when I first heard the idea that oral sex is not sex. It struck me then as bizarre and still does.
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Came in just to ask that very question.... especially since the casual attitude toward it has evolved *significantly* since my days of exploration (mid 80's).
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