More than 40 percent of unmarried American teenagers — or 4.3 million teen males and females — have had sex at least once, a new U.S. government report shows in a story reported by Business Week magazine.
This continues a flattening trend seen since 2002 and caps a downward trend seen between 1995 and 2002, especially in males, said report author Joyce Abma. The report was issued Wednesday by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics.
“One of the great success stories of the past two decades has been the extraordinary declines in teen pregnancy and childbearing,” said Bill Albert, chief program officer at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. “This progress has recently stalled out.”
Perhaps more surprisingly, one in five teen girls and one in four teen boys who had had sex said they would be pleased if they or their partner got pregnant.
“This is really quite alarming,” Albert said. “I don’t think it takes a Ph.D. to understand that in this day and age and in this economy the route to success doesn’t begin with a family at age 16.”