Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Teens Not as Risque as Some Might Have You Think

Yesterday the New York Times had a story about teens and sex. Thank goodness it's not another article about how teens are having more sex and we really need to be teaching them not to. Instead, the article attempts to counter all those myths about how teens are hypersexual.

In fact, the article argues that teens today are less active sexually than they have been in the past. But what's interesting is the grammatic switch the Times presents:
A 2002 report from the Department of Health and Human Services found that 30 percent of 15- to 17-year-old girls had experienced sex, down from 38 percent in 1995. During the same period, the percentage of sexually experienced boys in that age group dropped to 31 percent from 43 percent.
Apparently girls "experience sex" but boys are "sexually experienced." Awesome. (h/t)

Soundly, though, the article points out that teen pregnancy isn't up because teens are having more sex, it's because they're having more unprotected sex. This is probably brought about by all the preaching about how unreliable condoms are. But in the words of former surgeon general Dr. Jocelyn Elders, "I think we need to get over our ideas about how condoms will break. We know condoms will break, but the vows of abstinence break far more frequently than latex condoms."

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