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A CDC report shows importance of keeping families intact.

A Centers for Disease Control report (6/06) shows boys from single-parent households are much more likely to have sex by age 15 than boys who live in two-parent families.

The CDC study, which interviewed nearly 5,000 males aged 15-44, focused on their sexual attitudes and behavior. It found that 1-in-4 boys from single-parent households were likely to have sex, compared to 1-in-7 in two-parent households.

Janice Shaw Crouse of Concerned Women for America says the latest report "confirms what we already know…While most single parents work hard to meet their children's needs and many are able to beat the odds, single-parent households put children from babies through teens at risk for a broad spectrum of problems," she said.

Crouse — author of CWA's Data Digests, a quarterly publication that report on social science data and its impact on children, women and families — pointed out, however, the authors of the study downplayed the basic finding of the report. That is, she said, that boys of single-parents are more likely to have sex even though they are uncertain or don't want to. "But the truth is that children need a father's presence and influence," she said. "Father-absence is a major contributing factor to many of the social problems afflicting the nation's children."

Other findings include:
— More than a quarter of the white males and over 40 percent of the black males were either uncertain or did not want to have intercourse the first time they had sex.
— About half of the men who did not graduate from high school have had an out-of-wedlock child, compared to only 6 percent of college graduates.
— About a quarter of black men had a child before age 20 compared to slightly more than 10 percent of the white men.

The report by lead author Gladys Martinez, "Fertility, Contraception, and Fatherhood: Data on Men and Women from Cycle 6 of the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth" was published in Vital and Health Statistics.