Tag Archives: teenage sexuality

middle schoolers and sex

think christian recently reported a study by the university of texas health science center (click that link for the report), based on work done in “a large southeastern urban school district”.

a few paragraphs:

In the study, Markham and colleagues defined sexual intercourse as vaginal, oral or anal sex. According to their research, by age 12, 12 percent of students had already engaged in vaginal sex, 7.9 percent in oral sex, 6.5 percent in anal sex and 4 percent in all three types of intercourse.

More than one-third of youth in the study reported engaging in precoital touching behaviors. Among the students who engaged in precoital behavior, 43 percent reported having engaged in sexual intercourse.

the numbers aren’t huge, but are still horribly high when we consider that these are young teens (really, “by age 12”!). i’m actually surprised that the percentage for vaginal sex is higher than the percentage for oral sex.

talking about sex and sexuality with middle school kids can be awkward and giggle-festy. but we have to go there. and we have to give them more than a “just say no” instruction.

what are you doing in your middle school ministry to talk about sex and sexuality?

(btw: i still think good sex 2.0 is the best sexuality curriculum i have seen for youth ministry — really great stuff).

teen abortion rates plummet

interesting article in newsweek recently on “the changing face of abortion.” of particular note for youth workers:

Abortion rates have dropped steadily since the 1980s, from a peak of 29.3 abortions per 1,000 women in 1981 to 19.4 in 2005. But behind this general decrease are striking changes in the demographics of abortion. Compared to 30 years ago, women having abortions today are older and more likely to be mothers and minorities, according to a study released Tuesday by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Guttmacher Institute.

What researchers found is contrary to what pop culture phenoms, from “Juno” to Jamie Lynn Spears, might suggest: Teenagers are not the most likely to confront this issue, twenty-somethings are.

In fact, teens saw a bigger drop in abortion rate than any other demographic over the past 30 years. From 1974 to 1989, women aged 18-19 had the highest abortion rate among all age groups, varying from 32 to 62 per 1,000 women. In 2004, the latest year for which data is available, the abortion rate was 20.5.

But the news isn’t all good. While the teen abortion rate has declined by nearly 30 percent, the rate for women ages 20-24 is almost 10 points higher than it was in 1974. (In that group, rates hit 30.4 abortions per 1,000 women in 1974, spiking to 53.8 in 1989 and declining to 39.9 in 2004.)

The decline in abortion rates among teens mirrors a decline in teen pregnancies–from 107 for every 1,000 teenagers ages 15-19 in 1982, to 75 per 1,000 teenagers in 2002 (the most recent year for which data is available).

(ht to ypulse)

teens, sexuality, and commitment

fascinating post on ypulse the other day about teens and relational commitment.

short story:

teens are “hooking up” (participating in casual sex) much less than media and popular opinion would lead us to believe. it’s a small segment of teens that are participating in this behavior.

changing roles of women are playing a more significant role.

the idea of marrying your high school sweetheart is gone.

sex without a condom is the new engagement ring, and a sign of commitment, and indicative of a desire for a monogamous relationship.

the move to non-condom sex usually comes with STD testing and a conscious decision of monogamy.

with the extension of adolescence, living together in a monogamous relationship as a precursor to marriage is becoming substantially more commonplace (no surprise there).

thoughts, responses, implications?