More U.S. female teens abstaining from sex

May 4, 2012 at 12:33 AM
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ATLANTA, May 4 (UPI) -- U.S. teen birth rates are still higher than those of other developed countries despite a decline of 44 percent since 1990, federal health officials say.

A report published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report said the 2010 U.S. teen birth rate was 34.3 births per 1,000 females, with approximately 368,000 births among teens age 15-19.

The CDC analyzed data from the National Survey of Family Growth collected for 1995, 2002 and 2006 to 2010.

From 2006 to 2010, 57 percent of girls ages 15-19 had never had sexual intercourse, an increase from 49 percent in 1995, officials found.

Although the proportion of teens who had never had sex increased for all racial/ethnic groups from 1995 to 2006 to 2010, it was greatest among blacks at 34 percent, and Hispanics at 29 percent, compared with whites who had a 15 percent increase.

"The proportion of teens who had never had sex did not differ significantly across racial/ethnic groups -- whites at 57.6 percent, blacks at 53.6 percent and Hispanics at 56.2 percent," the report said. "Approximately 60 percent of sexually experienced teens reported current use of highly effective contraceptive methods -- intrauterine device or hormonal contraceptives -- an increase from 47 percent in 1995."

From 2006 to 2010, 73 percent of U.S. girls ages 15-17 said they never had sex, compared with 36.5 percent of females ages 18-19, the report found.

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