Maybe it’s the influence of Juno, Bristol Palin or Jamie Lynn Spears, but a new study says teens are less worried about a baby bump.
The study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released June 2, surveyed 2,800 teenage boys and girls between the ages of 15 and 19 on sex, their use of contraceptives and thoughts on pregnancy. Researchers found that while the number of teens having sex is still significantly lower than in decades past, their attitudes toward getting pregnant (or getting their partner pregnant) are more lax.
Here are some of the findings:
— One in five teenage girls who had had sex said they would be pleased if they got pregnant; one in four teenage boys who had had sex said they would be pleased if their partner got pregnant
— 64% of boys said it is OK for an unmarried woman to have a child (up from 50% in 2002); 71% of girls agree (up from 65% in 2002)
— In the 2002 CDC survey, one in four teenage boys who had never had sex cited “don’t want to get female pregnant” as the top reason; that figure dropped to 12% in this survey
— Teen girls who do not use contraceptive the first time they have sex are almost twice as likely to get pregnant before age 20; 79% of teenage girls used a contraceptive method the first time they had sex
— 17% of teen girls are relying on the “rhythm method” for birth control, up from 11% in 2002. The method, which involves timing sex to avoid fertile days, doesn’t work about 25% of the time
— 42% of never-married females have had sex (down from 51% in 1988); 43% of never-married males report having sex (down from 55% in 1995)
— 26% of females and 29% of males have had two of more partners
— 98% of teens have used birth control at least once; condoms are the most popular choice
The teens were surveyed between 2006 and 2008. Read the full survey here.