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Teens More Likely Than Adults To Use Condoms

October 4, 2010

Only four out of ten older teenage boys have reported having sex over the course of the previous year, and those that do are far more likely to use condoms than sexually-active adults, according to a new study by researchers at Indiana University (IU).

The findings come from the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB), which was completed by experts at the university’s School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER). According to an IU press release, ” It is one of the most comprehensive studies on these topics in almost two decades” and “documents the sexual experiences and condom-use behaviors of 5,865 adolescents and adults ages 14 to 94.”

The researchers discovered that 40-percent of 17-year-old males confirmed that they had participated in vaginal intercourse within the past year, and 27-percent had done so within the past 90-days. Fourteen percent of 14-year-old boys had reported engaging in some form of sexual interaction with a partner during the previous three months, they also discovered. The full results of the study have been published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Furthermore, according to what IU researcher Dr. Dennis Fortenberry told Reuters reporter Julie Steenhuysen, “In this study, somewhere between 70 and 80 percent of adolescents reported condom use at their most recent vaginal intercourse”¦ This indicates we’ve had a real public health success that we need to acknowledge.”

“One in four acts of vaginal intercourse involve condom use,” Steenhuysen added. “And among people who are single, that figure is one in three”¦ Condom use is higher among black and Hispanic Americans than among whites, and is lowest among people over 40.”

The researchers also found that most adults continue to report having sex lives that are both active and pleasurable–not to mention varied, as they discovered that those who participated engaged in a total of 40 different combinations of sexual activity during their most recent romantic encounter.

In addition, approximately 85-percent of men reported that their partner had reached orgasm during their most recent sexual event, but only 64-percent of women reported doing so, a difference that the researchers report is too large to account for using homosexual encounters. Only 7-percent of adult women and 8-percent of adult men identified themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

“This survey is one of the most expansive nationally representative studies of sexual behavior and condom use ever conducted, given the 80-year span of ages,” Michael Reece, director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, said in a statement.

“These data about sexual behaviors and condom use in contemporary America are critically needed by medical and public health professionals who are on the front lines addressing issues such as HIV, sexually transmissible infections and unintended pregnancy,” he added.

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