The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s newly released 10-year study, “Sexual intercourse among high school students,” indicates a significant drop in teens who said they had had sex.
The 2005-2015 study was based on a “Youth Risk Behavior Survey” distributed by the CDC to 29 states and accounts for grade level, sex, race and ethnicity.
“Data were weighted to yield nationally representative estimates,” the CDC study said.
About 46.8 percent of high school students said they had sex in 2005 compared to 41.2 percent in 2015.
More interesting, however, is the breakdown by sex, grade and race/ethnicity.
Boys: 4.7 percent decrease (47.9 ⇒ 43.2)
Girls: 6.5 percent decrease (45.7⇒ 39.2)
Nationwide, the most significant drops (2005 to 2015) were seen in the first two years of high school.
9th-grade: 10.2 percent decrease (34.3 ⇒ 24.1)
10th-grade: 7.1 percent decrease (42.8 ⇒ 35.7)
Fewer white students have sex in high school than black or Hispanic students. However, black and Hispanic students both saw significant drops in sexual activity. White students did not.
Black students: 19.1 percent decrease (67.6 ⇒ 48.5)
Hispanic students: 8.5 percent decrease (51 ⇒ 42.5)
- Only black students experienced a drop in 11th grade. Black students also experienced significant drops in every grade.
- The number of black students who said they had sex remained roughly unchanged from 2005 to 2009, but dropped 16.7 percent from 2009 to 2015 (65.2 ⇒ 48.5).
- In 12th grade, there were drops among girls and black and Hispanic students.
- The number of 12th-grade girls who had sex remained roughly unchanged from 2005 to 2009, but decreased 7.8 percent from 2009 to 2015 (65 ⇒ 57.2 percent).
- Only Florida, Connecticut and Rhode Island experienced significant drops in all grades.
- North Dakota and Wyoming didn’t experience drops in any grade.
What accounts for the trends?
We don’t know yet. The study said more research is needed to provide those answers. But I can imagine people will start chiming in soon!