WEDNESDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- A new national survey finds that significantly more teenaged males are using condoms when they have sex for the first time.
Since 2002, there has been an increase of 9 percentage points in young males who reported using a condom the first time they had sex, with 80 percent now taking that precaution. There was also an increase of 6 percentage points in males using a condom in tandem with their female partner using a hormonal method of birth control.
Teenaged girls also showed some changes in contraception use: 2 percent used a hormonal method of birth control other than the Pill in 2002, while 6 percent said they made that choice by 2010. The alternate methods included contraceptive patches, injectable devices and emergency contraceptives.
Coupled with statistics that show a continuing trend toward slightly less sexual activity overall among youths aged 14 to 19, it did not surprise the researchers that teen birth rates have again dropped.
"That helps explain why the teen birth rate has lowered," said survey author Gladys Martinez, a statistician with the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. In 2009, the teen birth rate hit an historic low of 39.1 births per 1,000 teenaged females, a 37 percent decrease from a peak rate of 61.8 births per 1,000 teenaged females in 1991.
But, she said, there are still troubling numbers in the report, which was released Wednesday.
"Black males still have higher levels of sexual experience than white and Hispanic males, and Hispanics have lower levels of contraceptive use," she noted.
The findings come in the results of a 2006-10 survey of adults and children, including 4,662 teenagers. Forty-three percent of females who'd never been married said they'd had sex at least once, compared with 42 percent of males. Those numbers are roughly the same as they were in a 2002 su
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