Trends in sexual activity among adolescent American Women: 1982-1995

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Citation: Singh, Susheela, Darroch, Jacqueline E. (1999) Trends in sexual activity among adolescent American Women: 1982-1995. Family Planning Perspectives (Volume 31) (RSS)

Tagged: uw-madison (RSS), wisconsin (RSS), sociology (RSS), demography (RSS), prelim (RSS), qual (RSS), WisconsinDemographyPrelimAugust2009 (RSS)


Data from NSFG (National Survey of Family Growth) is used to show that the proportion of adolescent women who ever had sexual intercourse increased somewhat during the 1970s and 1980's (32% in 1971 and 53% in 1988), but this upward trend stabilized between the late 1980's and mid 1990s (the result may have been influenced by a change in the question that clearly stated heterosexual intercourse. Oral and anal sex was excluded). For several reasons (STDs, unwanted teenage pregnancy) this general increase brings social concern. However, it is important to mention that there has been little change in the proportion currently sexually active in the last 3 months (reduction in the continuity). Differences in teenage sexual behavior across poverty and racial and ethnic subgroups were large in early 1980's, but narrowed between 1982 and 1995. Blacks and Hispanics have higher rates than Whites.