Adolescent Sex Behavior – Demographics (2012)


There are a number of adults who are not comfortable with teen sexuality, but it is an inevitable factor in society. With over half of high school seniors having had sex already, adolescent sexuality needs to be addressed. Adolescent sexual development is a key in the formation of a teens identity. This fact sheet discusses factors associated with adolescent sexuality such as race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, education level, educational aspirations, family structure, and life experiences.

  • “Since 1991, there have been declines among high schoolers in the percentages of students who ever had sexual intercourse, who had sexual intercourse for the first time before age 13, who have had sexual intercourse with four or more persons in their lifetime, and who report being currently sexually active.” (Conklin, 2012, p. 2)
  • “According to the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, in the U.S. today, “Most adolescents are thriving, but many engage in risky behavior, develop unhealthful habits, and experience physical and mental health conditions that can jeopardize their immediate health and contribute to poor health in adulthood.” (Conklin, 2012, p. 2)
  • “Black youth aged 15-21 report first sexual intercourse at ages earlier than their White, Hispanic/Latino, or Asian counterparts.” (Conklin, 2012, p. 3)
  • “White youth aged 15-21 report heterosexual oral sex at higher rates than their Black, Hispanic/Latino, or Asian counterparts.” (Conklin, 2012, p. 3)

Citation: Conklin, K. (2012). Adolescent sexual health and behavior in the United States: Positive trends and areas in need of improvement. Advocates for Youth. 1-4

Link to fact sheet.

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