The recent Justin Bieber paternity suit brings to the surface many issues facing our youth today. One, peer pressure to engage in sexual activity before marriage. Two, the consequences of unprotected sex. Three, raising children in fatherless families and the long-term effects on them mentally. You don’t have to take our word for it, the studies are out there and unfortunately children are exposed to these realities daily. We learned some interesting facts from the TECHSex USA Report produced by Internet Sexuality Information Services, Inc. (formerly ISIS, Inc.): a not-for-profit organization, founded in 2001, that supports and empowers young people to make informed decisions about their sexual activity. More information is available at yth.org
Currently, about 42% of 15 to 19 year olds who are unmarried have engaged in sex at least once. On a monthly basis, about 25% are sexually active. Low income, urban youth of color are more likely to engage in sexual behavior at even earlier ages.
The U.S. teen pregnancy rate is at approximately 71.5 per 1,000 teens. It is still much higher than other Western industrialized nations. Pregnancy rates for African American and Hispanic teens are 126 and 127 per 1,000.
Approximately 80% of unmarried teenagers used contraception the first time they had sex, and 68% of unmarried women and 81% of unmarried men, used a condom. At their last time of intercourse, 84% of women and 93% of men used contraception.
Youth aged 15 to 24 accounts for half of the sexually transmitted infections acquired annually, despite comprising only 25% of the total US population. It has been widely reported that a quarter of all teenage girls suffer from some type of STI with one in five becoming infected within a year of their first sexual encounter. Youth of color are disproportionately affected by STIs, including HIV, across the nation, with chlamydia rates for young African-American women reaching nine times as high as rates for Caucasian youth. African Americans were disproportionately affected by HIV infection, accounting for 55% of all HIV infections.
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