Will British teenagers follow American trend towards greater abstinence?

By JubileeCentre 24 Mar 2011

by John Hayward

'Compared with data from 2002, a higher percentage of males and females 15-24 in 2006-2008 have had no sexual contact with another person. In 2002, 22% of young men and women 15-24 had never had any sexual contact with another person, and in 2006-2008, those figures were 27% for males and 29% for females.' (Chandra, A. et al., Sexual Behavior, Sexual Attraction, and Sexual Identity in the United States: Data from the 2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth, National Health Statistics Reports, Number 36, March 2011, p.15)

So reports the latest survey of Americans' sexual behavior, the National Survey of Family Growth, which interviewed 13,495 Americans. The most recent comparable data indicated that teenagers on this side of the Atlantic take greater sexual risks earlier, but it will interesting to see whether the 2010 National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal 2010) shows any reversal of former trends similar to that among American teenagers.

With the conception rate among under-18s in England and Wales now estimated to be at its lowest rate since the early 1980s, perhaps the easy and discreet access to information electronically is enabling today's internet generation of young people to realise that sex is never 'just sex'.

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