87% of teens aged 12-19 say that it is important for teens to be given a strong message that they should not have sex until they are at least out of high school (Ibid).
Teens 12-19 say that parents (46%) most influence their decision about sex. By comparison, 20% say friends most influence their decisions (Ibid).
About 60% of teens aged 12-17 find it easy to talk to their parents about relationships.[ii]
Over half of teens aged 12-17 believe that parents should start talking with their kids about sex, love, and relationships when their kids are 13 or 14 years (Ibid).
Almost one-third of teens aged 12-17 say the conversation should start even earlier — at age 12 or younger (Ibid).
Ability – Young People possess uninformed and unhealthy attitudes about relationships and sex.
- 87% of teens aged 12-19 believe that sharing nude or semi-nude images of themselves or other teens electronically through cell phones, websites, and/or other social media networks leads to more sex in real life.[iii]
- 73% of males aged 15-22 say they have more respect for girls who say no to sex.[iv]
- 66% of males aged 15-22 say they agree that they could be happy in a relationship that does not include sex (Ibid).
- 29% of teens 15-17 reported feeling pressure to have sex.[v]
- Most teens aged 12-19 (93% of girls and 88% of boys) say they would rather have a boyfriend/girlfriend and not have sex than have sex but not have a boyfriend/girlfriend.[vi]
Desire – Young People choose unhealthy behaviors regarding relationships and sex.
- 24% of sexually active teens 15-17 had “done something sexual they didn’t really want to do (Ibid).”
- Twenty-two percent of sexually active students report using alcohol or drugs during their most recent sexual encounter.[vii]
- Nearly one in four sexually active teens is living with an STI (sexually transmitted infection) at this moment.[viii]
- Teens aged 12-17, over the period of 3 years, who viewed the most sexual content on TV were about twice as likely to be involved in a pregnancy as those who saw the least.[ix]
- 39% of teens aged 13-19 say that they have electronically sent, or posted online, sexually suggestive messages via text, email and/or IM.[x]
- 15% of teens aged 13-19 who have sent or posted nude/semi-nude images of themselves say they have done so to someone they only knew online (Ibid).
- Compared to sexually active teens, teens who abstain from sexual activity during high school are 50% less likely to drop out of high school, 60% less likely to be expelled from school, and almost twice as likely to graduate from college.[xi]
The implications of not addressing these needs are real. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 49.2% of high school students in Indiana are sexually experienced.[xii] The CDC also reports that 4.5% of Indiana teens had sex for the first time before age 13 and 24.4% of 12th graders in Indiana had four or more sexual partners (Ibid). Fifty-one percent of young women who had been teen mothers have no high school diploma or GED by the time they are 22 years old.[xiii]
[i] The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (2010). With One Voice accessed April 10, 2013.
[ii] The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (2007). Kiss & Tell: What Teens Say about Love, Trust and Other Relationship Stuff accessed April 10, 2013.
[iii] The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (2010). With One Voice accessed April 10, 2013.
[iv] The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (2009). That’s What He Said accessed April 10, 2013.
[v] Kaiser Family Foundation (2003). National Survey of Adolescents and Young Adults: Sexual Health Knowledge, Attitudes and Experiences accessed April 10, 2013.
[vi] The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (2010). With One Voice accessed April 10, 2013.
[vii] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2011). Youth Risk Behaviro Surveillance – United States, 2011 accessed April 10, 2013.
[viii] Meeker, M.D. (2002). Epidemic: How teen sex is killing our kids. Washington D.C.: Regenry Publishing.
[ix] Rand Corporation (2008). Exposure to sex on TV may increase chance of teen pregnancy accessed on April 10, 2013.
[x] The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (2008). Sex & Tech Survey accessed April 10, 2013.
[xi] Add Health (2005). National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health accessed on April 10, 2013.
[xii] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance – United States, 2009. Surveillance Summaries (2010). MMWR 2010; 59 (No. SS-5) [June 2010].
[xiii] Child Trends (2010). Diploma Attainment Among Teen Mothers accessed April 10, 2013.