The share of high school students who are sexually active has fluctuated since , ranging from 30 to 38 percent. In , Appendix 1 Among black students, however, the proportion who reported they were sexually active decreased from 59 percent in to 33 percent in The proportion of high school students who reported they had ever had vaginal sexual intercourse declined between and , from 54 to 46 percent. Between and this figure fluctuated only slightly, and then further declined to 41 percent in
Although the teenage pregnancy rates in the UK are falling in the 16 to 19 year old range, they are still rising in the 13 to 15 year olds. Overall, they remain one of the highest within Western Europe. Teenagers continue to present a challenge to the health services due to the increase in their sexual risk taking behaviour, the earlier age at which they are starting sexual activity and a reluctance to utilise services available to them. In an attempt to develop current services and make them more 'user friendly', a sexual health needs assessment was carried out on teenagers, part of which looked at their attitudes towards risk taking sexual behaviour and their declared sexual behaviour.
Seek outside counselling
THE image of the testosterone-fueled teenage boy is a familiar one. But are boys that age really defined primarily by their sexual urges? Or does the stereotype fall short, telling us less about teenage males and more about a culture that seems to have consistently low expectations of its boys? A new report in The Journal of Adolescence this month suggests that when it comes to sex, girls and dating, boys are more complex than we typically give them credit for. Psychology researchers from the State University of New York at Oswego recently examined data collected from 10th-grade boys, average age 16, who answered questions about a number of health behaviors. In questions put to them about girls most of the boys self-identified as heterosexual , the teenagers were asked to note their reasons for pursuing a relationship. The top answer, marked by 80 percent of the boys? Physical attraction and wanting to get to know someone better were tied as the second-most-popular answers.
So how can parents discuss dating and sex with their sexually active kids in a healthy way? Melistas offers some advice. She adds that parents should discuss the emotional consequences that come along with being sexually active — as well as pregnancy, the risks of STDs, when and where it is appropriate to have sex and the risks of sexting and social media. But it varies based on the kid.