The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data today on adolescent sexual activity, contraceptive use, and birthrates ("Teenagers in the United States: Sexual Activity, Contraceptive Use, and Childbearing, 2006-2010"). Leslie Kantor, vice president of education, notes:
October 12, 2011
"Today’s report on teen sexual behavior has a great deal of good news: use of birth control during the first sexual experience remains high, a larger percentage of teens are simultaneously using condoms and other forms of contraception to protect themselves from pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, and condom use continues to increase.
"The fact that 80 percent of teen males used a condom the first time they had sex is an increase and a significant step in the right direction, but this is not the time to become complacent. Among developed countries, the U.S. still has the highest teen birthrates. In addition, some young people are at greater risk for health disparities, including those related to reproductive health. African-American females, for example, are less likely to use birth control during their first sexual experience, and Hispanic males are more likely to have unprotected sex. Teens whose partners are four or more years older are also much less likely to use contraception.
"In order to address these issues, we need to expand sex education in schools, give teens better access to reproductive health services, and support parents in helping their teenage children stay safe and healthy. Planned Parenthood supports these crucial efforts through both its educational programs and health center services."