Illinois: 37 Percent of Teens Say They Tried Sex, 7 Percent Say They Were Raped
August 26, 2011
In a fall 2010 survey of about 1,700 suburban Cook County students from 20 public high schools, 37 percent reported they were sexually experienced. Among those reporting intercourse within the preceding three months, about 62 percent said they used a condom.
By race/ethnicity, 61 percent of African Americans, 49 percent of Hispanics and 24 percent of Caucasians reported sexual activity. About 6 percent said they had sex for the first time before age 13. About 7 percent of all teens said they had been physically coerced to have sex.
During the preceding year, 13 percent said they had seriously considered suicide, and 9 percent actually attempted it. Among all students, 40 percent had tried cigarettes and 33 percent marijuana at least once. About 29 percent reported being offered, sold or given illegal drugs on school grounds in the preceding year.
"In general, there are so many things that we need to tackle, it's kind of like, where do we start?" said Amy Poore, a spokesperson for the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH).
One starting point would be better sex education in schools, Poore said. Data like these could help in applying for grants or passing state legislation, she said.
"Most schools don't have comprehensive sex education and are teaching abstinence only, but clearly we have a high amount of students who are engaging in sexual activity," said Poore.
The suburban area's first Youth Risk Behavior Survey was conducted with local help from CCDPH, the Children's Memorial Hospital Child Data Lab and school administrators.
08.26.2011; Stefano Esposito
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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