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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Facts About Teen Sexual Activity

This week the Kaiser Family Foundation released an updated fact sheet on Teen Sexual Activity that covers a broad range of sexual health topics facing teens including general sexual activity; sexual partners and relationships; sex, substance abuse and violence; pregnancy; contraception and protection; sexually transmitted infections; access to health care services; and communication.

The good news is that in the last ten years fewer teens report having had sexual intercourse and those who do are more likely to use contraceptives and condoms. The bad news is that half of the sexually active teens will contract a sexually transmitted infection by the time they are 25 years old.

If that is not enough for you to arrange a long chat with your teenager, how about this: more than half of the males (55%) and females (54%) between the ages of 15 and 19 reported having had oral sex with someone of the opposite sex. Another disturbing fact is that 11% of females and 4% of males reported being forced to have sexual intercourse and 9% of teens report having experienced dating violence.

Talk to your kids about these facts and use them to share your values and expectations for your teens. Make sure they are seeing their doctor each year, know where they can get information about reproductive health, and remind them that you want to help them get care and make healthy decisions.

You can get a copy of the fact sheet from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Photo credit: will_hybrid
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.