Many assume that a high percentage of teens as young as 12 or 13 engage in sexual acts. Given the high occurrence of STDs among teens and societal influences, it’s not out of line to wonder if young teens engage in as much sexual behavior as college students.
But – statistics show that’s not the case. In fact, it’s not even close.
Young teen sex statistics
A study in Pediatrics and reported on by USA Today shows that many young teens are not engaging in sexual behavior. Statistics over the past 50 years have held steady. Just look at some of the findings:
Boys and girls who’ve had sex:
- only 0.6% of 10-year-olds
- 1.1% of 11-year-olds
- 2.4% of 12-year-olds
- the incidence of pregnancy among girls age 12 or younger “is minuscule.”
Read the full report from USA Today on young teens engaging in sex
At no time in the past 50 years did more than 10% of girls have sex by their 14th birthday.” – Lawrence Finer, director of domestic research for the Guttmacher Institute
Although many might assume young teens (or pre-teens) engage in sexual behavior, statics do not back up that thought.
College student sex studies
A college campus, however, is an entirely different story. A 2011 article by USA Today discussed the culture of a university and unique dilemmas student enrollment can create:
… The higher proportion of women on campuses has contributed to the ascent of the hookup culture. Overall, women made up more than 56% of the college population in 2009, according to the recent Census data on enrollments; more women are found on many campuses that serve both sexes.
Not only do college students engage in sexual activity, but “casual hookups” are occurring more and more as the ratio of men-to-women does not even out.
By senior year, 72% of both sexes reported having at least one hookup, with the average of 9.7 for men and 7.1 for women. Just under one-quarter (24%) of seniors say they are virgins, she says.
Despite this growing “hookup culture” where it seems like everyone is having sex while at college, it appears virginity is on the rise – although less than a quarter of college students avoid sex altogether.
- Among 18- and 19-year-olds, about one-quarter of men and women said they hadn’t had sexual contact with another person, up from 17% of women and 22% of men in 2002.
- Among those ages 20-24, 12% of women and 13% of men said they were virgins, up from 8% for both sexes in 2002.
Read the full USA Today report on hookups around college campuses
Protecting teens and college students
The statistics show us a few things:
- Parents, teachers and mentors are doing a great job at making sure young teens do not get sexually involved too soon.
- The “hookup” culture of college campus is prevalent and an STD breeding ground.
- Extreme self-control and responsibility shown by the rising virginity rates is hopeful when it comes to the treatment and stop of STDs.
If you are in the Lawrence, KS area and need an STD test for your teen or college student, contact us today. We offer affordable, confidential and fast results.