Sexual Activity Declines Among NC Highschoolers
Special Report - February 19, 2008
The percentage of high school students who report ever having sexual intercourse continues to decline in the Tar Heel state, according to the latest data from the North Carolina Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance (YRBS) reports. The N.C. Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the Department of Health and Human Services administers the voluntary survey, which was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to public school students throughout the state. Students are asked a variety of health-related questions, ranging from recent drug use to sexual activity.
According to the 2007 YRBS, 52.1 percent of North Carolina’s high school students reported ever having sexual intercourse, down from 57.3 percent in 1995, when the General Assembly passed legislation requiring schools to teach abstinence until marriage sex education. The percentage of students who report first time sexual intercourse before age 13 has dropped significantly, from 12.5 percent in 1995 to 8.3 percent in 2007. In addition, 16.1 percent of high school students in 2007 reported four or more sexual partners in their lifetime, compared to 23.8 percent in 1995. The 2007 survey also found that 75.3 percent of high school students said that a parent or another adult family member had discussed “what they expect them to do or not to do when it comes to sex.”
Although the percentage of sexually active students has declined since 1995, the percentage of sexually active students who report using drugs or alcohol at their last sexual encounter has increased. In 1995, 9.4 percent of high school students who reported sexual intercourse in the previous three months said that they had used drugs or alcohol at their last sexual encounter, compared to 20.7 percent of high school students in 2007.
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