The number of teenagers in high school engaging in sexual activity has dropped remarkably in the past ten years, as per a new survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The report also indicated that there was a marked decline in sexual initiation in younger students with Hispanic and African-American ethnicities.
The decline has been especially steep over the last two years, according to CDC. The findings add to the proof about the progress that is going on in lowering risky behavior by teens who are using marijuana, drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, becoming pregnant at a rate lower than teenagers from a decade ago.
The survey also found it encouraging that the rate of sexual activity had fallen among teenagers in 9th and 10th grades. The maximum majority of the decline took place between 2013 and 2015.
“Early initiation of sexual activity is associated with having more sexual partners, not using condoms, sexually transmitted infection and pregnancy during adolescence,” the report stated.
Though the researchers could not point toward any specific cause that could explain the trend, they suggested that factors like access to straightforward information in school and via the internet about contraception and sex had a part to play.
The principal researcher from the Guttmacher Institute, Laura Lindberg, added that it still had to be seen if the decline was in fact only a short-term occurrence or a long-term one. She also questioned the value of the survey because the drops seemed quite large in 2015.
Incidentally, another country-wide survey carried out in teenagers’ homes showed a different result, which indicated little change in teen sexual activity. The CDC report had cited The National Youth Risk Behavior Surveys that was conducted in schools.
Kathleen A. Ethier, one of the study authors, said that more research is required to comprehend which factors have attributed to the decline of sexual activity and pregnancy in teenagers.
The report showed that 41.2 percent of teenagers in high schools had engaged in sexual activity in 2015, a number less than the 46.8 percent of 2013. The same rate was applicable for 2005.
The CDC report analyzed data collected from 29 U.S. states and observed some differences among them. However, only two states, namely North Dakota and Wyoming, showed no decline in the sexual activity of high school teenagers for over a decade.
Other reports indicate that smoking and teen pregnancy declined to an all-time low in 2016, with just 11 percent of teenagers reporting they had a cigarette in the previous month. There is also a decline in marijuana and alcohol consumption in the past few years, however, it is not a sharp fall.