Physical Problems

STD Statistics

Teen STD Statistics

When it comes to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), the United States offers woefully inadequate education. The proof is in the fact that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 19 million new STD infections occur every year (February 2013 new information indicates this number is now 20 million). And, even more alarming, is that nearly 50 percent of these new cases happen to young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Not only that, but the American Social Health Association (ASHA) reports that half of all new HIV infections occur in teenagers. It is apparent that many of the current and alarming STD statistics could be reduced with proper education.

Syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease that was virtually wiped out (or at least under tight control) as been making a comeback, resulting in an increase in cases each of the last six years, reports the Centers for Disease Control. And while Gonorrhea has leveled off, there is an indication that it could be creeping back into the population.

Chlamydia is another STD that is making a comeback in the population. ASHA reports that it is most prevalent in young people aged 15-24. According to the CDC, from 2005 to 2006 reported cases of Chlamydia climbed from 976,445 to 1,030,911. In 2011, 1,412,791 cases of Chlamydia were reported. However, health care professionals worry that the rates are probably higher, perhaps as high as 2.8 million new cases a year. The problem is that Chlamydia is one of the most under-diagnosed diseases in the country. And young women are the hardest hit by the re-emergence of Chlamydia. Teenage girls have a Chlamydia rate three times higher than teenage boys, reports the CDC.

One of the biggest problems with the increase in STDs among teenagers is due to the lack of education. Abstinence-only education, reports Planned Parenthood, does not address measures one can take to protect oneself during sex. Also, instead of providing practical and actionable information about the importance of being screened for STDs, abstinence-only education ignores STDs, except to point out that they are bad, and that complete abstinence is the only full-proof way to avoid them.

While this is true, many teenagers are sexually active (about 2/3 of seniors in high school have had sex). Abstinence-only education does not address this fact, and it does not educate teenagers that oral sex can transmit sexually transmitted diseases. Many teens think that remaining “technical” virgins and engaging in oral sex, but not intercourse, can protect them from STDs.

The American Social Health Association reports that less than half of teenagers in the U.S. have had discussions about sexual health and STDs during health visits and in schools. Additionally, parents are reluctant and embarrassed to talk about this information. This is contributing in large part to the STD statistics that we see. ASHA also reports that screening guidelines for STDs are not being followed, and that significantly less than half of eligible teen girls have been screened for Chlamydia.

The best defense against STDs is knowledge. Studies have shown that teenagers who are equipped with the education they need to protect themselves are more likely to engage in protective behaviors during sex.


Physical Problems

Teen Sex Statistics

Teen Sex Statistics & Sex Facts

One of the things that provides many parents concern is teen sex. Most parents worry about whether their teenagers are behaving responsibly when it comes to sexual intercourse. Indeed, from worries about unplanned pregnancies to concerns over sexually transmitted diseases, many parents worry about how sexually active their teens are.

And, indeed, there is some cause for alarm. The Guttmacher Institute reports that the United States has the highest levels of teen pregnancy among developed nations. This is hardly surprising, since nearly 75 percent of teenagers have had intercourse by the time they turn 20; only 15 percent report remaining virgins until the age of 21. Additionally, the Institute reports that teens in the US are more likely to have sex before the age of 15, and to have more than one partner in a year, than teenagers in Sweden, France, Canada and the United Kingdom.

However, there is some good news. Child Trends Data Bank reports that condom use is increasing. The reported instances of having protected sex have risen from 46 percent in 1995 to 63 percent in 2005, and was 60 percent in 2011. (Child Trends reports that condom use has remained steady from 2005 to 2007.) Birth control use by teenage girls, however, has not followed this trend. Birth control pill use has remained steady at somewhere between 16 and 18 percent since 1993, and fluctuated between 16 and 20 percent since. This probably accounts for teen sex statistics that show that just under 33 percent of teen girls become pregnant (according to Teen Pregnancy Statistics The CDC has since reported that in 2011 the live birth rate for teens aged 15-19 years is at a rate of 31.3 per 1,000 women.

With a teen pregnancy rate that is nearly twice the rate of that in other developed countries, many parents rightfully worry what can be done. Interestingly, despite a recent government push for abstinence only sex education is schools, teen pregnancy statistics, and teen sex statistics remain in line with trends. As a result, the Kaiser Family Foundation reports, 80 percent of parents think that contraception and protective practices (such as condom use) should be taught as part of a comprehensive sex education course.

Teen sex stats remain relatively stable, but intercourse has dropped to 66.7 percent among 12th graders in the US to 60.3 percent. The Guttmacher Institute found that 50 percent of teens between the ages of 15 and 19 in the US have had oral sex . The indication is that oral sex is beginning to be seen as an alternative to intercourse. And, even though this can prevent come teen pregnancies, many teenagers are under-informed with regard to the fact that STDs can still be caught through oral sex.

The teen sex stats that we see today should serve as a reminder that teenagers need to be guided. They need education and knowledge of what’s available in order to help combat teen pregnancy and STDs. Teenagers should understand that there are physical, psychological and emotional effects that come with sex. They should also be taught that the choices they make now can affect them later in life. But this teaching should not be done with fear.

Teen sex stats show that making sex forbidden doesn’t have an impact on the trends. Perhaps treating teenagers as adults, with respect for their intelligence and decision making ability can help where other methods have so far failed to stem the tide of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases in the US.