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Fam Plann Perspect. 1980 Sep-Oct;12(5):230-1, 233-7.

Sexual activity, contraceptive use and pregnancy among metropolitan-area teenagers: 1971-1979.



Results of a 1979 national survey concerning attitudes and practices of 15-19 year old women living in metropolitan areas are presented and compared with survey findings for 1971 and 1976. The proportion of 15-19 year old metropolitan area women who report having had premarital sexual intercourse rose from 30% in 1971 to 43% in 1976 and to 50% in 1979. Among whites the proportion sexually active rose from 26% in 1971 to 47% in 1979. Almost all of the increase is accounted for by increased sexual activity of never-married white women. 12% of the sexually active women in 1979 reported having had intercourse only once. The level of premarital pregnancy among teenagers increased from 9% in 1971 to 13% in 1976 and to 16% in 1979. The proportion of premaritally pregnant teenagers who married before resolution of the pregnancy decreased from 33% in 1971 to 16% in 1979. The proportion terminated by abortion rose from 23% in 1971 to 37% in 1979. 34% of sexually active teenagers said they always used contraception in 1979 compared to 29% in 1976, while those who reported they never used it declined from 36 to 27%. The proportion of premarital pregnancies occurring among those reporting they had always used a contraceptive method rose from 10% to 14% between 1976 and 1979, partly due to a decline in the use of the most effective medical methods between 1976 and 1979 and a rise in the use of the least effective methods, especially withdrawal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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