Concerned Women for America (CWA) says the latest trends indicate good news regarding teenage birth rates and teen sexual activity. Teen births have declined every year since 1991 and more than half of high-school-aged teens now report abstaining from sex. The bad news is that the decline in teen births slowed this year and the rate increased among teens under age 15. Also, there are more repeat teen births. In addition, nearly half of the sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) occur among those in the age bracket of 15- 24.
Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Senior Fellow of the Beverly LaHaye Institute (BLI), CWA’s think tank, said, “Clearly, there is much to celebrate about the changing trends regarding teen sexual behavior, but, at the same time, there remains much cause for concern among those who care about teenage well- being.”
Crouse added, “It is encouraging to note that more than half of the female teens (53 percent) and 41 percent of the male teens talked with their parents or guardian about how to say no to sex. These numbers indicate that parents increasingly are involved in guiding their teens through the dangerous teenage years.
“These data reinforce the importance of parental involvement and parental faith –– parents with consistent faith and high-quality mother-teen relationship provide protection against teen sexual activity and its accompanying disastrous outcomes.”
Finally, Crouse warned parents that more than half of the new STDs among teens are the dangerous human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes 90 percent of the cases of cervical cancer and kills more than 5,000 women every year.
The latest data, from 2004, comes from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and was analyzed in BLI’s March 6, 2006, Data Digest and in an April 2006 report by Child Trends.
Concerned Women for America is the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization.
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