Teenage Sexuality & Teen Sex Facts

Sent in by Johny Leo

Teenage Sexuality Facts, Teen Sex Facts, How Media influences Sex in Teens, Factors that influence Teenage Sex & Sexuality Fashions


The average teenager watches 3 hours of television per day which comes to 20,000 hours by the time they graduate from high school; more time than spent in the classroom.

Teens list television as one of their primary sources for information about sex.

78% of all teenage dialogue on TV involves comments about their own or someone else's interest in sex.

Three out of four primetime shows include some kind of sexual content.

While teens might learn about the mechanics of sex from their parents and/or the classroom, they often learn sexual behavior from the media.

40% of teens say they get ideas from TV about how to talk with their partners about sexual issues.

Four out of ten 15-17 year olds say they have learned a fair amount from TV about sexually transmitted diseases.

70% of parents of teens say they have had a converstation about a sexual issue with their child because of something one of them saw on a TV show.

How Teens are affected by sexual health issues:

In the U.S., two young people aged 13 to 24 contract HIV every hour.

Half of all new HIV infections occur in young people aged 13-24.

45% of parents of 8-12 year olds say their child has at some point asked a question about sex or AIDS because of something they saw on TV.
Every year, there are about 3/4 million pregnancies in the United States among teens aged 15-19, 78 percent of these pregnancies are unintended.

More than 3 million Americans, including three million teens every year, are infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STDs). A recent Kaiser Family Foundation study revealed that most sexually experienced teens have never talked about STDs with a healthcare provider; 70 percent said that they have never been screened for STDs.

While teens might learn infertility among 20 to 24 year old women has tripled since the 1960s, mainly due to the consequences of sexually transmitted diseases.

Television is an effective medium for communicating valuable information about reproductive health issues, adolescence, and sexuality.

How Teens Learn About Sex

Parent-Child Communication and Sexuality Education
Parents and daughters communicate far more frequently than parents and sons on sexual facts, sociosexual issues and morality.

Most teens say that they would prefer to get their information about pregnancy and birth control from their parents--but less then half of teens have had such a conversation.

Sex education programs have been found to increase parent-child communication about contraception.

Teens who reported previous discussion of sexual matters with parents were more likely to communicate with their partner about AIDS than those who had had no such discussions.

Three out of five teens say that they do not have enough information about how to use birth control, and almost half say they don't know enough about where to get birth control.

In public opinion polls, more than 8 in 10 parents want sexuality education taught in high schools. Fewer than three percent of parents remove children from sexuality education classes.

Seventy-four percent of adults favor condom availability in high schools and 47 percent favor condom access in jr. high schools.

Only twelve states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico require sexuality education teachers to be certified. In most states, sex ed is taught by teachers of other subjects, including home economics (36 states), classroom teachers (32 states), and physical education (32 states).

Beginning in 1998, and continuing until 2002, 50 million dollars from the federal government will be available to states to support programs which teach that abstinence is the only appropriate choice for adolescents and that physical and emotional harm are likely to result from premarital sex.

Five states prohibit or restrict discussion of abortion in sex ed classes. Eight states require or recommend that homosexuality be discussed as an unacceptable lifestyle and/or as a criminal offense under state law.

Researchers have not found that sex education increases the risk of early sexual activity. Adolescents participating in several programs that combine abstinence information about contraception have tended to delay having sex.

The Facts
Because young girls reach puberty at increasingly younger ages (due in part to better health and nutrition) and marriage often occurs later for many adults, young people are sexually at-risk for a much longer period of time than were young people of previous generations. Although fewer are choosing to have sex according to recent studies, the United States continues to have the HIGHEST teen sexually transmitted disease (STD) and adolescent birth rates of any industrialized nation..

Sexual Relationships and Sexual Risks
In the United States, almost one-third of 15-year-olds and 71 percent of 18 year-olds have had sex.

Almost one million teenage women become pregnant each year.

Almost 20 percent of male teens report never using condoms, while only 30 percent use them at every sexual encounter.

A sexually active teenager who does not use contraception has a 90 percent chance of pregnancy within one year. Half of teen pregnancies occur within six months of first sexual intercourse.

Seventy-five percent of 15-17 year-old teen women and their partners use a contraceptive method.

Teenage girls are more likely to use a family planning clinic rather than a private doctor due to confidentiality, cost and accessibility.

The reasons teens most commonly reported not using contraception are: they didn't expect to have sex; they didn't think pregnancy would occur; and they didn't know where to get birth control.

Each year, four million teens contract a sexually transmitted disease.

In 1996, chlamydia was the most frequently reported infectious disease. Chlamydia is more common among teens than older men and women.

One in four new HIV infections in the U.S. occurs in people 21 or younger.

Our Great Responsibility

Dear Colleagues:
Did you know that teenagers today cite television as one of their primary sources of information about sex?

Did you know that over one million teenage girls get pregnant each year? Or that 85% of these pregnancies are unintended? Did you know that in the U.S., one teen is infected with HIV every hour?

As television and film industry professionals, our work affects teenagers' perception about sex and consequently their behavior. We have the unique opportunity and ability to reach these youth in a meaningful way with messages that can save their lives. We feel it is important to take responsibility for the information we provide to American families, and the first step is to better understand the issues.

We urge all of you to consider our nation's youth when creating your programming.

Helen Boehm, MTV
Vickie Bottelson, Univ. Home & Family Ent.
Karey Burke, NBC
Danielle Claman, FOX
Susanne Daniels, The WB
Jacki De Shae, UPN
Joseph Dougherty
Jeffrey DuTeil, "The Steve Harvey Show"
Carolyn Ginsburg-Carlson, ABC
Maria Grasso, Warner Bros. TV
Paul Haas, ICM
Christopher Harbert, UTA
Teri Schaffer Hicks, "In The House"
Janet Lynne Jackson, WGA
Nancy Josephson, ICM
Gina Rugulo Judd, More Medavoy
Jim Kearney, KPCC
Debbee Klein, Paradigm Agency
Dave Krinsky, "King of the Hill"
Howard Lapides, Lapides Ent.
Maria Lapides, Lapides Ent.
Susan Leeper, ABC
Jonathan C. Levin, Spelling TV
Jordan Levin, The WB
Brenda Lilly, WGA
John D. Lynch, Lynch Ent.
Tim McNeal, The WB
Howard Meyers, WGA
Sue Naegle, UTA
Martin Noxon, "Buffy Vampire Slayer"
Jessica Pinto, The WB
Dr. Drew Pinsky, "Loveline"
Maria Rastatter, CBSP
Jay Rosen, WGA
Michael Rosenfeld, Brillstein-Grey
Robb Rothman, The Rothman Agency
Kate Rubin, Western Sandblast
Sheryl Scarborough, WGA
Mindy Schultheis, 20th Century TV
Janice Sonski, DIC Entertainment
Robin Smalley, DGA, WGA
Steve Smooke, CAA
Carolyn Strauss, HBO
Paul Stupin, "Dawson's Creek"
Raynelle Swilling, WGA
Steve Tao, ABC
Sarah Timberman, Columbia Tristar TV
Jon Vandergriff, "Home Improvement
Claudia Weill
Lorin Wertheimer, WGA
Fred Whitehead, CAA
Erin Wilkey, "Something So Right"

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