STUDIES OF YOUTH SEXUALITY
Results of some studies:
||First Sexual Experience: Most surveys show that the average age
at which a person becomes sexually active is 16 years. One
US survey revealed that 63% of youth aged 14 to 21 are sexually active.
Another found that 70% of youth will become sexually active before
graduation from high school. The National Center for Health Statistics
conducted a survey in 1995 and released its results in 1997-MAY-1. It showed
that 50% of 15 to 19 year old young women and 55% of young men have engaged
in sexual intercourse at least once. The corresponding numbers in 1988 were
55% and 60%. |
40% of women will become pregnant during their teen years; 20% of
teen women will have a child. 1
||Use of contraception: The National Center for Health Statistics'
1995 survey shoed that 76% of women of all ages reported the use of contraception during their first sexual experience. This is an increase from 64% in 1988. Both
surveys showed increases in condom uses. In response to the release of the
survey on 1997-MAY-1, John Hutchins, spokesperson for the National
Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy said: "It's the reversal of a
trend that's been going the other way for two decades, but we still have a
long way to go. The United States is two times as high as the closest
industrialized nation, Great Britain, in teen pregnancy and teen births."|
||Youth Suicide: A US federal government study into youth suicide
has revealed that up to a third are done by young people who are gay or lesbian.
Assuming that 5% of youth are homosexual, then the suicide rate of
homosexual youth may be six or seven times normal for their age group.
There are two main reasons given for this high rate:|
||Many conservative Christians believe that homosexual behavior is
abnormal, unnatural; this causes may gays and lesbians to commit
||Many others feel that some gays and lesbians are unable to come to
terms with their homosexual orientation. Many gays and lesbians had
been taught to hate homosexuality and homosexuals during their
childhood. As teens, they become aware of their own sexual
orientation, and are certain that they have no possibility of
changing. Many terminate their lives rather than face a lifetime of
homosexuality, and the hatred, physical danger and abuse that they
would be exposed to.
||Condoms and Cervical Cancer: A consensus exists that cervical
cancer is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) which is spread sexually.
The cellular structure of an adolescent female's reproductive system is
much more likely to encourage the development cervical cancer than the system
of an older woman, All women are regarded at high risk except those who
delayed sexual activity until adulthood, had only one or two sexual partners
during their lifetime, and in which those partners only had one or two
partners. Fortunately, condoms are effective in stopping the passage of the
virus to women. Condoms are not perfect. HPV can be
passed between sexual partners even if a condom is worn. This is because
HPV can infect areas of the skin not covered by a condom. Fortunately,
this is rare. Also, Pap smear tests are effective in detecting early
indications of cervical cancer.|
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy has a web site
which contains many facts and figures on teen pregnancy at: http://www.teenpregnancy.org/teen/facts/factfig.html
"Our Whole Lives: lifespan sexuality education curricula."
I. De Vincenzi "A longitudinal study of human immunodeficiency
virus transmission by heterosexual partners". New England Journal
of Medicine 1994;331:341-346.
Copyright © 1996, 1998, and 2000 to 2002 incl., by Ontario
Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 1996-JUN-6
Latest update: 2002-FEB-23
Author: B.A. Robinson