Give Yourself Some Credit
When it comes to teen sex, there is a lot of misinformation floating around. Some people would like you to believe that today's kids just sit around sexting naked pictures of each other all day, when really, modern teens often make better choices about sex than kids of earlier generations. Still there is work to be done on keeping teens sexually healthy. But that work is hard to do if you don't know the facts.
The Real Deal With Teen Sex
Here is are some information help set the record straight and clear up confusion:
- According to the CDC's Youth Risk Behavior Survey of 9th through 12th grade students, the number of teens who were sexually active dropped from 54% in 1991 to 48% in 2007.
- The same study found that the number of teens who used a condom the last time they had sex grew from 46% in 1991 to 62% in 2007.
- A study done by the Centre for Sexual Health & HIV Research at University College London showed that nearly 70 percent of people between the ages of 16 and 19 used a condom with a new partner. Only 38 percent of men and 29 percent of women between ages 35 and 44 did!
There's Still Work to Be Done
But despite these positive signs, gay teens still face serious challenges when it comes to sex including the fact that:
- The CDC reports that young gay men are contracting HIV at alarming rates.
- A Canadian study found that lesbian teens are a high risk of pregnancy.
Not Out of the Woods Yet
What this information tells me is that there is good news and bad. To help turn around the bad we need to work on educating GLBT teens about their risks. We also need to reduce the stigma and homophobia that contribute to gay teens who find themselves in risky situations either because they aren't open about their sexual orientation or because their low self-esteem prevents them from taking care of themselves.