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Almost two-thirds of teenagers who have had sexual intercourse regret not waiting, according to a poll released by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

Individually, 55% of boys and 72% of girls said they wish they had waited longer to have sex.

“This poll is just the latest evidence that many teens are taking a more cautious attitude toward having sex,” said Sally Sachar, deputy director of the campaign.

37% of teens cited their parents as the people who are the most influential in their decisions about sex; 30% cited friends; 11% cited the media; 11% cited their religious communities as the strongest influence. Sachar said of the results, “It … makes clear that parents can – and must — play an active and continuing role in helping their children understand that sex can wait.

The media plays a strong role in providing information on sex, with 61% of teens naming it as a source of information or advice about sex in the past month, followed by 57% who learned from their friends, and 55% who received information from their parents.

In addition, 78% of teens surveyed agreed that teens should not be sexually active. 54% say that those teens who are sexually active should have access to birth control; but nearly one-fourth disagreed, saying that teens should be abstinent and not have access to birth control.

Sixty-four percent of teens would advise their younger siblings or friends not to have sex. The survey, conducted June 7 – 11 by International Communications Research, talked to 501 teens ages 12-17. The margin of error is 4.3% [National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy release, 6/30; Kaiser Daily Reproductive Report (not pro-life), 6/30/00]