By Inc. New Strategist Publications

ISBN-10: 1933588098

ISBN-13: 9781933588094

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Example text

Most do not think it is all right for unmarried 16-year-olds to have sexual relations. Among 15-to-19-year-olds, 68 percent of girls and 63 percent of boys disapprove of sex between 16-year-olds. AMERICAN SEXUAL BEHAVIOR 33 Most Teenagers Have Sex before Age 18 Boys and girls are equally likely to have had sexual intercourse. Teenage sexual activity has declined significantly over the past 12 years, according to the National Survey of Family Growth. In 2002, 46 percent of never-married boys aged 15 to 19 had had sexual intercourse, down from 60 percent in 1988.

Among teenagers aged 15 to 19 who have not yet had sex, a plurality say they have avoided it because of moral or religious reasons. Fear of pregnancy is the second most commonly cited reason, mentioned by 19 percent of girls and 25 percent of boys. There are sharp differences among boys by race and Hispanic origin, however. Hispanic boys are most likely to say they are still virgins because they fear getting a girl pregnant (42 percent). Blacks are more likely than others to abstain because of concerns about sexually transmitted diseases.

In contrast, only one-third of men were conflicted about having sex the first time, while 62 percent say they really wanted it to happen. One out of ten women aged 18 to 24 who first had intercourse before age 20 say the encounter was involuntary. The younger the women at sexual initiation, the more likely first intercourse was coerced. Eighteen percent of women aged 14 or younger at first intercourse say it was involuntary compared with 5 percent of those aged 18 to 19 the first time. The older the male partner, the more likely the sex was involuntary on the part of the female.

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American sexual behavior: demographics of sexual activity, fertility, and childbearing by Inc. New Strategist Publications


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