You know the stereotype: uptight old folks complaining about the loose morals of the kids, whose sex lives are out of control.
Surprise! Sex among American teens has actually dropped, compared to 25 years ago, according to a new study from the Center for Disease Control. The Washington Post carried a good report, which you can read here.
Here are the important bits, quoted from article:
- Less than half of teens older than 14 said they’ve had intercourse, a sharp drop from rates in the ’80s
- Teen births, meanwhile, have plummeted about 57 percent over the last 30 years…
- The share of teen girls who reported they’ve had sex at least once dropped from 51 percent in 1988 to 44 percent in 2013, they found. Abstinence was more pronounced among the guys: 60 percent of teen boys in 1988 said they’d had sex, compared to 47 percent in 2013. Much of the decline for both boys and girls occurred between 1988 and the period of 2006-2010, and numbers have held steady since then.
Okay. But why?
The Internet. I’m serious.
Or at least, researchers quoted in the article are serious. Apparently, teens are going on to the Internet to get more information about sex and its associated risks. “They’re looking on the web,” says Dr. Brooke Bokor, an Adolescent Medicine Specialist at the Children’s National Health System. “They’re looking for guidance from parents, guardians and physicians. They can and will make positive decisions for their own health, both sexual and otherwise. We really need to be prepared to treat our youth and young adults as educated consumers.”
Speed dating for seniors. Sex education for teens. Is there anything the Internet can’t deliver?