Even though many contemporary teenagers have not experienced sexual intercourse, the results of 13 nationwide surveys reveal a strong upward trend in adolescent coitus from the 1950s through the 1970s (■ Table 12.3). Results of the more recent of these surveys (and other surveys) suggest that this upward trend has leveled off and even decreased somewhat over the last two decades (National Center for Health Statistics, 2011). Data from the National Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (YRBSs) for the years 1995, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2007, and 2009, presented in ■ Table 12.4, indicate that from 1995 to 2009 the overall percentage of high school students in the United States who had ever had sexual intercourse declined somewhat for all grade levels. The prevalence of condom use during last sexual intercourse among sexually active high school stu­dents increased somewhat during this 14-year period.

Sexuality During Childhood and Adolescence

■ TABLE 12.3 Percentage of Adolescents Who Reported Experiencing Coitus by Age 19

Study

Females (%)

Males (%)

Kinsey et al. (1948, 1953)

20

45

Sorenson (1973)

45

59

Zelnick & Kantner (1977)

55

No males in survey

Zelnick & Kantner (1980)

69

77

Mott & Haurin (1988)

68

78

Forrest & Singh (1990)

74

No males in survey

Sonenstein et al. (1991)

No females in survey

79

Centers for Disease Control (1996)

66a

67a

Centers for Disease Control (2000b)

66a

64a

Centers for Disease Control (2002)

60a

61a

Centers for Disease Control (2006a)

62a

64a

Centers for Disease Control (2008a)

66a

63a

Centers for Disease Control (2010i)

65a

60a

Percentages reporting having had intercourse by their senior year (usually age 17 or 18).

■ TABLE 12.4 Percentage of U. S. High School Students Who Reported Sexually Risky Behaviors, 1991-2009

Grade

Survey Year

Ever Had Sexual

Four or More Sexual Partners

Currently Sexually

Condom Use During Last

Intercourse (%)

During Lifetime (%)

Active (%)

Sexual Intercourse (%)

9

1995

36.9

12.9

23.6

62.9

1999

38.6

11.8

26.6

66.6

2001

34.4

9.6

22.7

67.5

2005

34.3

9.4

21.9

74.5

2007

32.8

8.7

20.1

69.3

2009

31.6

8.8

21.4

64.0

10

1995

48.0

15.6

33.7

59.7

1999

46.8

15.6

33.0

62.6

2001

40.8

12.6

29.7

60.1

2005

42.8

11.5

29.2

65.3

2007

43.8

13.4

30.6

66.1

2009

40.9

11.7

29.1

67.8

11

1995

58.6

19.0

42.4

52.3

1999

52.5

17.3

37.5

59.2

2001

51.9

15.2

38.1

58.9

2005

51.4

16.2

39.4

61.7

2007

55.5

17.0

41.8

62.0

2009

53.0

15.2

40.3

61.4

12

1995

66.4

22.9

49.7

49.5

1999

64.9

20.6

50.6

47.9

2001

60.5

21.6

47.9

49.3

2005

63.1

21.4

49.4

55.4

2007

64.6

22.4

52.6

54.2

2009

62.3

20.9

49.1

55.0

SOURCE: Adapted from Centers for Disease Control (1998, 2000b, 2002, 2006a, 2008a, 2010i).

chapter 12

Evidence indicates that the leveling off in adolescent coital rates has not been as pronounced among young teenagers. Data from a number of studies indicate that over the last several decades there has been a trend toward experiencing first coitus at an earlier age in both sexes, and this trend is consistent across a diverse range of ethnic groups (Allen & Forcier, 2011; Centers for Disease Control, 2010i). However, different American ethnic groups vary in their experiences with adolescent sex. These differences are described in the following Sexuality and Diversity discussion.