Above: From Youth Risk Behavior Study: Ever had sexual intercourse
September 2016 – In 1991, 54.1% of American youth reported they had had sexual intercourse. In 2015, that percentage had dropped to 41.2, according to 2015 data from the most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey from the Centers for Disease Control.
Ascend, a promoter of abstinence education, calls the findings “an encouraging bit of news” and emphasizes the benefits of abstinence programs in schools.
Pointing to Mississippi as an example, Ascend notes that since a 2011 state law requiring schools to teach sexual risk avoidance programs, the number of students who had sex decreased more than during any other six-year period. The increase in the number of teens abstaining from sex was twice the national average for that timeframe, and Mississippi became one of the “most improved” states nationwide.
Nationally, the percentage of black teens waiting to have sex has seen a huge upswing from 18.5% in 1991 to 51.5% in 2015. In the same time period, the percentage of Hispanic teens who have not had sex rose from 46.9% to 57.5%, and white teens numbers rose from 50% to 60.1%.
Ascend Press Release, 6/29/16, 6/27/16; cdc.gov, 6/9/16