CDC: Teens Having Less Sex
Most Sexually Active Teens Not Using Condoms
American Adults Like Abstinence for HIV Prevention
Teaching Abstinence to Inner-City Youth: It Works!
UK Condom Campaign Not Working…
MOST SEXUALLY ACTIVE TEENS NOT USING CONDOMS. On 7Aug06, researchers at Child Trends of DC released a study of data gathered by the CDC on unmarried, sexually active teens aged 14-19 in 2002. After 3 decades of widespread sex education with an emphasis on condom use, only 28% of sexually active girls and 47% of boys say they always use a condom. In spite of such irregular and incorrect contraceptive use by teens, teen birth rates have been steadily falling in recent years, paralleling the decreasing number of sexually active young people. Makes sense…contraception education for teens is very iffy at best, but less sex always results in fewer births. ["Report: Teenagers often shun condoms," USA Today, 08-02-06; Abstinence Clearinghouse E-Mail Update, 9Aug06]
CDC: TEENS HAVING LESS SEX. Evidence from a CDC survey shows increasing numbers of students are waiting to have sex, & fewer of those who have sex are continuing a pattern of multiple partners. The data was gathered using anonymous questionnaires as part of the biennial Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBS). The national survey also queried students on injected drug use. Students who had sexual intercourse dropped from 54.1 percent in 1991 to 46.8 percent in 2005. Sex with 4+ partners in a lifetime dropped from 18.7 percent in 1991 to 14.3 percent in 2005. [Trends in HIV-Related Risk Behaviors Among High School Students — United States, 1991—2005,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 08-11-06, Trends in HIV-Related Risk Behaviors Among High School Students — United States, 1991—2005, http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5531a4.htm?s_cid=mm5531a4_e; Abstinence Clearinghouse E-Mail Update, 16August06]
AMERICAN ADULTS LIKE ABSTINENCE FOR HPV PREVENTION. An online poll conducted by The Wall Street Journal and Harris pollsters concerning the human papilloma virus (HPV) and the recently released vaccine against some HPV strains found that less than half of Americans had heard of the common STD.
However, after being given information about the disease and the vaccine, the Journal reports that 44% of those surveyed agreed with the statement “Abstinence programs rather than medical treatment are a better way of preventing the spread of the HPV virus.” Forty-five percent agreed with the statement, “Instead of paying for expensive vaccines, money should be spent making sure women and teens get routine pap smears – a test that is very effective in diagnosing cervical cancer.” [Majority of Americans Back HPV Vaccine, Poll Shows,“ Wall Street Journal, 08-08-06, http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB115464198706026167-wfselVvUJp0nsQKdrY_8ongId0c_20070808.html?mod=tff_main_tff_top; Abstinence Clearinghouse E-Mail Update, August 16, 2006]
UK CONDOM CAMPAIGN NOT WORKING. It’s been 2 years since the United Kingdom initiated a 3-year, $85 million condom campaign for the prevention of STDs among students. Early results are predictably discouraging for the “safe sex” crowd. Only slightly more than one quarter of the young people surveyed said they used a condom when they last had sex, and many of those who do, use them incorrectly. Surprisingly, British youth seem oblivious to the STD epidemic in their midst. When those who used condoms were asked why they did so, the prevention of disease ranked far behind preventing pregnancy. [“UK teens ignorant about condom use: study,” Reuters, 08-10-06, http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/articlenews.aspx?type=healthNews&storyID=2006-08-09T230916Z_01_L09659099_RTRIDST_0_HEALTH-CONDOMS-DC.XML; Abstinence Clrnghse E-Mail Update,16Aug06]
LISTENING TO MORE THAN “JUST THE BEAT”. Teens who listen long enough, researchers found, to an iPod full of lyrics describing sex acts and the men and women obsessed with those casual sex acts are likely to mimic that behavior at an early age themselves. A study published in the journal Pediatrics [7/06] showed that such teens were almost twice as likely to become sexually active within 2 years as their friends who preferred music with less degrading, more committed sexual scenarios.
According to 17-year-old Natasha [NJ], "A lot of teens think that's the way they're supposed to be, they think that's the cool thing to do. Because it's so common, it's accepted. Teens will try to deny it, they'll say 'No, it's not the music,' but it IS the music. That has one of the biggest impacts on our lives." [“Sexual lyrics prompt teens to have sex,” Associated Press, 07-06-06, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/07/AR2006080700022.html; Abstinence Clearinghouse E-Mail Update, 16Aug06]
TEACHING ABSTINENCE IN INNER-CITY PHILADELPHIA: IT WORKS! A recent study involving 662 middle school boys/girls found that when they were interviewed 2 years after classes in abstinence, the message had effectively delayed sexually activity for the students compared to those who had received instruction in “safe sex”. Interestingly, the students delayed other sexual activity, not only sexual intercourse.
Lead author John Jemmott [Univ of Pennsylvania]: "We changed the intention to have sex,” for both virgin and non-virgin students. "We caused them to have more positive attitudes towards abstinence and the negative consequences of engaging in sexual activity at an early age, including less likely to achieve one's career goals." [“Teaching abstinence reduces teen sex,” National Post, 08-15-06, http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=e02ea152-80e9-4e5e-beaa-e66236850666&k=49376; Abstinence Clearinghouse E-Mail Update, 8/23/06]