Understanding Changes in Sexual Activity Among Young Metropolitan Men: 1979-1995

Ku, Leighton; Sonenstein, Freya L.; Lindberg, Laura D.; Bradner, Carolyn H.; Boggess, Scott; Pleck, Joseph H.
November 1998
Family Planning Perspectives;Nov/Dec98, Vol. 30 Issue 6, p256
Academic Journal
The article reports on the impact of changes in the sexual behavior of teenagers on the levels of adolescent pregnancy and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. Changes in the sexual behavior of teenagers can have a significant impact on levels of adolescent pregnancy and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Understanding the role played by attitudes and educational efforts will provide critical prevention information. The percentage of males aged 17-19 who had ever had sex increased from 66% in 1979 to 76% in 1988 and then decreased to 68% in 1995. The frequency of sexual intercourse in the year prior to the survey increased significantly over time, although the lifetime number of sexual partners did not Acceptance of premarital sex increased significantly from 1979 to 1988, then decreased significantly from 1988 to 1995. Over time, young men were increasingly likely to prefer having and supporting a baby to marriage, abortion or adoption as the resolution to a nonmarital pregnancy. Trends in attitudes were strongly associated with sexual behaviors, with more conservative attitudes predicting less sexual activity. AIDS education, which was nearly universal in 1995, was associated with decreased sexual activity although not among black youths.


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