Reasons for Abstinence

Sexual Activity – The Statistics

The proportion of 15- 19-year-old girls who are sexually active rose from 47% in 1982 to 55% in 1990, and is decreasing again.

The percentage of high school students who have remained virgins has risen from 45.6% in 1990 to 54.1% in 2001.

Fifty-six percent of teenage girls and 73% of teenage boys today have had sexual intercourse by their 18th birthday. In the early 1970s, 35% of girls and 55% of boys had had sex by that age.

  • Most very young teenage boys and girls have not had intercourse  —  84% of 13-year-olds, 77% of 14-year-olds and 70% of 15-year-olds.
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  •   While the likelihood of having intercourse increases steadily with age, 1 of every 5 teenagers do not have  intercourse during their teenage years.
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  •  Seven of 10 girls who had sex before age 14, and 6 of 10 of those who had sex before age 15 report having sex  involuntarily.
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  •   Most teenagers begin having intercourse in their mid-to-late teens,  about 8 years before they marry.
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  •  Among the most common reasons teens have sex, according to 55% of teens, is that "they think they're ready."
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  • Six of every ten teenage girls say one reason why teen girls may have sex is because a boyfriend is pressuring them.