Teens Report Peer Pressure to Have Sex
May 20, 2003
Although teenagers feel that waiting to have sex is a nice idea, they believe that hardly anyone does it. In fact, many teens -- particularly boys -- feel pressure to have sex, and they say drugs and alcohol usually lead to sex -- often without condoms.
The teen survey, released Monday by the Kaiser Family Foundation, portrays a comprehensive picture of youth attitudes and the risk of STDs and pregnancy. Despite the fact that both teen pregnancy and birth rates have been declining for a decade, the Kaiser survey spotlights areas of concern:
In contrast to the common portrait of boys pressuring girls, the Kaiser study found that boys in particular face pressure to have sex, often from male friends. One in three boys ages 15-17 admitted they feel pressure to have sex, compared with 23 percent of girls. "There are a lot of expectations for boys to be sexually active, " said Julia Davis, senior program officer at the Kaiser Family Foundation, an independent group that studies health issues.
"Changing social norms and cultural expectations as well as delayed marriage means many young people have multiple sexual relationships in their lifetimes and need the information and tools to make healthy decisions and communicate with their partners," the report said.
05.20.03; Laura Meckler
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.