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More Than 40% of U.S. Teens Have Had Sex
Date:6/2/2010

d that about one-quarter of female teens and 29 percent of males reported two or more sexual partners, the same as 2002. Females who started having sex when they were younger were more likely to accumulate more partners.

While most teens had not had intercourse in the month before being asked about this (76 percent of females and 79 percent of males, the same as 2002), 12 percent of females and 10 percent of males reported having sex in the prior month.

The majority of teens had used some form of contraception during their first intercourse: 79 percent of females and 87 percent of males. And condom use is on the rise. As in 2002, it ranked as the most common form of birth control and was used at least once by 95 percent of teens.

The next favored form of birth control was withdrawal (58 percent), then the pill (55 percent).

Seventeen percent of teens said they had used the rhythm method, as compared to 11 percent in 2002.

"Contraceptive use has not changed since 2002 with a few important exceptions," said Abma. "Males use more condoms frequently during their first sex and combination methods more frequently."

Seventy-one percent of female teens in 2006-2008 "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that "it is OK for an unmarried female to have a child," about the same proportion as 2002. But now 64 percent of males agreed with the statement, up from 50 percent in 2002.

Fourteen percent of females and 18 percent of males interviewed said they would be "a little pleased" or "very pleased" if they or their partner got pregnant. On the flip side, 58 percent of never-married female teens and 47 percent of males said they would be "very upset" if this happened, pointing to the importance of motivation in not getting pregnant.

"When we talk about teen pregnancies and unplanned pregnancies more generally, people tend to focus on the important issues of cost and access [to birth control]," said Albert. "T
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