Remember freedom of choice about sex also includes saying No to sex. All the listed facts send out only one message - girls in their teens should say No to sex.
- Four in ten girls who had their first intercourse at the age of 13 or 14 years reported that it was either forced or non-voluntary or unwanted.
- By 15 years about 13% of teens have had sexual intercourse.
- By the time they reach 19 years 7 out of 10 teens have had sexual intercourse at least once.
- The chance of becoming pregnant within a year if not using a condom is much higher (90%) among the teens than others.
- Nearly a third of all teen pregnancies end up in abortion.
- There were 214,750 abortions in 2002 in the United States among 15-19-year-olds.
- The highest rates of teen pregnancy in the developed world happen in the United States and the annual cost of such pregnancies is $ 7 billion.
- The babies of teenage mothers have lower birth weights and are more likely to perform poorly in school. They are also likely to be at greater risk of abuse and neglect.
- The chances of the son of a teenage mother ending up in prison (13% more likely) or their daughter becoming pregnant (22%) is more likely than normal.
- Of the 18.9 million new cases of STIs (syphilis, gonorrhoea, Chlamydia, trichomoniasis, Human papillomavirus -HPV infections) each year almost 48% or 9.1 million occur among 15-24-year-olds.
- Abma JC et al., Teenagers in the United States: sexual activity, contraceptive use, and childbearing, 2002, Vital and Health Statistics, 2004, Series 23, No. 24.
- Harlap S, Kost K and Forrest JD, Preventing Pregnancy, Protecting Health: A New Look at Birth Control Choices in the United States, New York: AGI, 1991.
- Guttmacher Institute, U.S. Teenage Pregnancy Statistics: National and State Trends and Trends by Race and Ethnicity, accessed Sept. 12, 2006.
- National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. (1997). Whatever Happened to Childhood? The Problem of Teen Pregnancy in the United States. Washington, DC: Author.