Silver Chips Online

More teens delay having sex

January 25, 2005
This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from "More U.S. Teens Delay Having Sex, Study Finds” by The Washington Post and Questions and Answers About Revisions to the Health Education Program.

The National Center for Health Statistics recently reported that American teenagers are waiting longer before first engaging in sexual intercourse, and those that do not wait overwhelmingly use contraception. This report was released in the midst of the heated debate in Montgomery County over the appropriateness of teaching condom use in school and a fervent nation-wide dispute over President George W. Bush's abstinence-only education policy.

The report found that in particular, males are postponing sex: 46 percent were active in 2002 in comparison to 55 percent in 1995, according to The Washington Post. The current MCPS health curriculum includes instruction on abstinence and birth-control and has recently incorporated a video on condom usage. "The video illustrates the proper use of a condom and helps students to understand how they can be used incorrectly,” according to MCPS' "Questions and Answers About Revisions to the Health Education Program.” Howard, Prince George's, District of Columbia and Baltimore City counties all show similar condom instruction videos.

Joyce Abma, the lead author of the nation-wide report, says that students are finally embracing messages on how to prevent pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Bush, however, is still moving forward with the $170 million in federal funding to advance the abstinence-only curriculum.