Contraceptive Use and Births in Teens 15-19 Years Old

A recent report has highlighted the use of contraceptive use and births in teenagers 15-19 years old. The data reports that there has been no significant change in the number of never-married teenagers who have had sexual intercourse; the percentages still stand near 43% and 42% for females and males, respectively. However, there was an increase in the use of contraceptives, such as male use of condom in addition to a partner’s hormonal contraceptive. About 78% of females use a method of contraception the first time they had sex, while 85% of males reported using a contraceptive the first time they had sex. The percentage of female teenagers who used hormonal contraceptives, other than the pill, their first time also increased to six percent. Data has shown that people of Hispanic origin are much less likely to have sex with someone they just met. However, regardless of ethnicity, the older a person is when they first have sex, the more likely it is that they are in a relationship.

While teenagers are practicing safe sex, there were still 39.1 births for every 100 in 2009. This was a historical low for the United States, but still considerably high in comparison to other countries like Canada, Germany, and Italy; these countries had birth rates of 14, 10, and 7, respectively. Of the first-world countries in the world, why do Americans have one of the higher teen birth rates? Is this because of sexual education programs or is it simply an aspect of our culture? It seems unavoidable, but as teens get older, it is likely that they will have had more partners in the past year.  Perhaps the focus now should not only be on young teens who are considering having sex, but also those who are older and already sexually active.

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