Twenty-seven percent of young men and 29 percent of young women ages 15-24 have never had any kind of sex, according to a study by the National Center for Health Statistics. That’s up from the 2005 report, in which the numbers were 22 percent for both sexes.
The largest and most in-depth federal report to date on sexual behavior, sexual attraction and sexual identity in the U.S. covers 2006-08 and includes 5,082 participants in the 15- to 24-year-old group.
According to a USA Today analysis of the report, 53 percent of boys and 58 percent of girls ages 15-17 have had no sexual contact. For ages 20-24, 13 percent of men and 12 percent of women reported likewise.
Debbie Roffman, a human sexuality educator in Baltimore, told the newspaper that multiple factors are likely at work — including “greater involvement by parents in communicating about sexual values and decision-making and providing greater supervision and monitoring of their children’s activities.”
Jeff Johnston, gender and homosexuality analyst for Citizenlink, applauded those who delay sexual involvement.
“This is encouraging news,” he said. “I give them a lot of credit. In a culture awash in sex, to stand against that tide, takes a lot of strength.”
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Visit CitizenLink’s web page dedicated to abstinence education.