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How many teens are choosing not to have sex?
- Based on the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance (YRBS) data, over half (59%) of all students in grades 9 to 12 indicated that they had not yet had sex.3
How many teens have had sex?
- In 2015, 41% of high school students reported having sexual intercourse.3
- Between 1991-2015, the proportion of students who ever had sexual intercourse decreased from 54% to 41%.3
- The percent of adolescents who are having sex at earlier ages has decreased since 1988 and contraceptive use has increased since the 1990s. Together these two factors have contributed to the U.S. reaching its lowest teen pregnancy and birth rates in years.2,4,5
With whom are teens having their first sexual experiences?
- Almost three-quarters (73%) of teen females and 58% of males reported having their first sexual experience with a steady partner.5
- 16% of females and 28% of males reported their first having sex with someone they had just met or who was just a friend.5
- Among female teenagers whose first partner was the same age or younger than themselves, 83% used contraception at first sex compared with 64% among those with first partners who were 4 or more years older.5
How many teens are sexually active?
- In 2015, 30% of all high school students reported being sexually active (they had sex in the previous three months).3
- Under half (46%) of all 12th grade students reported being sexually active compared to almost 16% (15.7) of 9th grade students.3
- Many adolescents are engaging in sexual behaviors other than vaginal intercourse: about half have had oral sex, and just over one in 10 have had anal sex.1
How many teens are using substances before having sex?
- In 2015, 21% of high school students who had sexual intercourse during the past three months drank alcohol or used drugs before their last sexual intercourse.3
- Between 1991-1999, the percentage of high school students who had sexual intercourse during the past three months who drank alcohol or used drugs before their last sexual intercourse increased from 22% to 25% and then decreased during 1999-2015 (25% to 21%).3
How many teens report having multiple partners?
- In 2015, nationwide 11.5% of high school students reported having already had four or more sexual partners.3
- Boys (14.1%) are more likely than girls (8.8%) to report that they have had four or more partners.3
- Between 1991 and 2015, the proportion of students who had sexual intercourse with four or more persons during their lifetime decreased from 19% to 11.5%.3
How many teens report having sex before age 13?
- In 2015, 3.9% of students had had sexual intercourse for the first time before age 13 years.3
- Between 1991 and 2015, the percentage of teens who reported having had sex before the age of 13 decreased from 10.2% to 3.9%.3
- The prevalence of having sexual intercourse before age 13 years decreased from 2013 (5.6%) to 2015 (3.9%)3
- The prevalence of having had sexual intercourse before age 13 years was higher among male (5.6%) than female (2.2%) students.3
1 Chandra, A., Mosher, W. D., Copen, C., & Sionean, C. (2011, March 3). Sexual behavior, sexual attraction, and sexual identity in the United States: Data from the 2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth. National Health Statistics Report, 36. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr036.pdf
2 Martin, J. A., Hamilton, B. E., Osterman, M. J., Driscoll, A. K., & Mathews, T. J. (2017). Births: Final Data for 2015. National Vital Statistics Report, 66(1). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr66/nvsr66_01.pdf
3 Kann, L. (2016). Youth risk behavior surveillance—United States, 2015. MMWR Surveill Summ, 63(4). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs/pdf/2015/ss6506_updated.pdf
4 Kost, K., & Maddow-Zimet, I. (2016). U.S. teenage pregnancies, births and abortions, 2011: National trends by age, race and ethnicity. Guttmacher Institute. Retrieved from https://www.guttmacher.org/sites/default/files/report_pdf/us-teen-pregnancy-trends-2011_0.pdf
5 Martinez, G., Copen, C. E., & Abma, J. C. (2011). Teenagers in the United States: Sexual activity, contraceptive use, and childbearing, 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Statistics, 23(31). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_23/sr23_031.pdf