USA Today (10.13.11) - Thursday, October 13, 2011
The largest-ever federal survey of teens' sex lives shows high
rates of contraceptive use at first intercourse but
inconsistent rates thereafter.
The in-person interviews with 4,662 never-married teens ages
15-19 were gathered by CDC's National Center for Health
Statistics between 2006 and 2010. About 43 percent of surveyed
girls and 42 percent of boys had had intercourse at least
once. The new survey marks the first time there were no racial
or ethnic differences in the percentage of teen girls who have
had sex, as the proportion of black girls who reported sex
decreased from 57 percent in 2002 to 46 percent in 2006-10.
Seventy-eight percent of girls and 85 percent of boys reported
using a method of contraception the first time they had sex,
with condoms being the most popular. At most recent sex, 86
percent of girls and 93 percent of boys said they had used
some form of contraception. However, just 49 percent of girls
and 66.5 percent of boys said they used a condom every time
they had sex in the past four weeks.
The survey found more girls are using hormonal contraceptive
methods not available in earlier years. While use of the pill
and injectables had not changed significantly since 2002, 14
percent of girls reported using emergency contraception, 10
the contraceptive patch, and 5 percent the contraceptive ring.
For the 57 percent of girls and 58 percent of boys who said
they have never had sex, the most commonly cited reason was
"against religion or morals," given by 41 percent of girls and
31 percent of boys.
Lead author Gladys Martinez, a demographer and statistician,
said the survey findings on oral sex will be part of a later
The survey, "Teenagers in the United States: Sexual Activity,
Contraceptive Use, and Childbearing, 2006-2010 National Survey
of Family Growth," was published in Vital and Health
To access the complete report, visit