A new report from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is reporting drops in sexual activity among high school students. Released on January 5, the study is reporting linear drops in sexual activity in all student subgroups except white students.
The CDC collected data from 29 states and grouped the states they reported on according to which grades reported decreases. The only state that reported a decrease in all grades 9–12 was Florida. The report shows decreases “among 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th-grade students in three states.”
The largest group of states saw decreases amongst 9th and 10th graders only. These were Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Idaho, West Virginia and Kentucky, all red states, and Illinois, Maine and New Hampshire, traditionally blue and swing states.
Two states, North Dakota and Wyoming, reported no significant change in sexual activity among any group of high school students. Even after every decrease, there is no category of students where the current rate of sexual initiation is lower than 20 percent. As of 2015, 41.2 percent of high schoolers report being sexually active. Among 9th graders, 27.3 percent of boys and 20.7 percent of girls report having been active. These figures show that no fewer than one in five high school students was sexually active at some time as of 2015.
The report makes no speculation on the cause of the decreases in adolescent sexual activity, saying only, “Understanding the underlying causes of these decreases in the prevalence of ever having had sexual intercourse can inform strategies to ensure that such decreases continue.”
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