A newly released study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds: black teenagers are having sex at much lower levels than they did two decades ago.
Conversely, Latino and white teenagers are having sexual intercourse at basically the same numbers as they did in the 1990s. According to the CDC survey, black teens who report having relations has dipped considerably from 80 percent in 1991 to 60 percent in 2011, reports U.S. News & World Report.
Other interesting findings:
- Sixty-five percent of sexually active black teenagers surveyed also report using condoms during sex, compared to 46 percent of black teens in 1991;
Today sexually active black teens are more likely than the other teen groups surveyed to wear condoms during sex, though the study falls short of explaining the behavioral changes behind the dwindling numbers.
“This tells us what kids do, but not why,” Laura Kahn, author of the study, told U.S. News & World Report.
- Some, including Dr. David Katz, director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center, say that while the lower numbers are good, unsafe sex is unsafe sex — and teenagers are still having it. “A very large population of our young people remains vulnerable to all of the perils of unprotected sex, HIV included,” Katz told the international political magazine. “So this report is not a cause for celebration. It tells of a job that can be done when we address it well, and of a mission far from accomplished that deserves our more devoted attention.”
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