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Teens having less oral sex, study says

August 16, 2012|By Monte Morin
  • A government report finds that the incidence of oral sex among teens has declined.
A government report finds that the incidence of oral sex among teens has… (National Center for Health…)

Kids today! Could smartphones and social media be distracting them from sex?

A report on teen sexual activity released Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics found an overall decrease in the practice of oral sex among 15- to 19-year-olds between 2002 and 2010. That finding reflected a similar decline in vaginal intercourse among the same group, according to health experts.

In 2002, 55% of boys and 54% of girls reported ever having had oral sex. By 2010, only 48% of boys and 45% of girls reported having participated in oral sex, according to the report.  

The report, “Prevalence and Timing of Oral Sex With Opposite-Sex Partners Among Females and Males Aged 15-24 years: United States,” was based on interviews with 6,346 young adults. Among other findings, the study found that in the two decades since 1988, the percentage of female and male teenagers who reported ever experiencing intercourse declined from 51% to 43%.

The report, which did not cite a specific reason for the drop, noted that the rate of sexually transmitted infections had not decreased, even despite increased use of condoms. In 2010, about one-half of all new sexually transmitted infections occurred among people between 15 and 24 years old, the report said.

Data for the report was taken from a larger study released by the Centers for Disease Control in June.  In that study, the top reason teens gave for not having sex was that it was against their religion or morals, while other reasons included not wanting a pregnancy, and waiting for the right person or time. The least cited reason for not having sex was a desire to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.

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