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Vital Health Stat 23. 2010 Jun;(30):1-47.

Teenagers in the United States: sexual activity, contraceptive use, and childbearing, national survey of family growth 2006-2008.

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  • 1Division of Vital Statistics, Centers for Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD 20782, USA.



This report presents national estimates of sexual activity, contraceptive use, and births among males and females 15-19 years of age in the United States in 2006-2008 from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG). Selected data are also presented from the 1988, 1995, and 2002 NSFGs, and from the 1988 and 1995 National Survey of Adolescent Males (NSAM), conducted by the Urban Institute.


Descriptive tables of numbers and percents are presented and discussed. Data were collected through in-person interviews of the household population in the United States, conducted between July 2006 and December 2008. Interviews were conducted with 7,356 females-1,381 of whom were teenagers--and 6,140 males--1,386 of whom were teenagers-for a total of 2,767 teenagers. The overall response rate for the 2006-2008 NSFG was 75%. The response rate for female teenagers was 77% and for male teenagers 75%.


In 2006-2008, about 42% of never-married female teenagers (4.3 million), and about 43% of never-married male teenagers (4.5 million) had had sexual intercourse at least once. These levels of sexual experience have not changed significantly from 2002, the last time the NSFG collected these data. Among never-married teenagers, 79% of females and 87% of males used a method of contraception at first sex. With a few exceptions, teenagers' use of contraceptives has changed little since 2002, and the condom remained the most commonly used method. One exception was an increase in the use of condoms and the use of a condom combined with a hormonal contraceptive (dual method use) among males. Another exception was a significant increase in the percent of female teenagers who had ever used periodic abstinence, or the "calendar rhythm" method. This method had been used by 17% of female teenagers in 2006-2008.

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