The following is excerpted from an online article posted by MedicalXpress.
The first years of the pandemic saw a huge decline in high school students having sex, according to a government survey. Teen sex was already becoming less and less common before COVID-19.
About three decades ago, more than half of teens said they’d had sex, according to a large government survey conducted every two years. By 2019, the share was 38%. In 2021, 30% of teens said they had ever had sex. That was the sharpest drop ever recorded by the survey.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released reports analyzing the latest findings from the survey that looks into risky youth behaviors, including smoking, drinking, having sex, and carrying guns. More than 17,000 students at 152 public and private high schools responded to the 2021 survey. Participation was voluntary and required parental permission, but responses were anonymous.
The CDC also noted declines in students who said they were currently having sex or who’d had at least four sex partners.
The declines clearly had a lot to do with the pandemic that kept kids isolated at home for long stretches and, often, under extended adult supervision, experts said.
Another finding: The proportion of high school kids who identify as heterosexual dropped to about 75%, down from about 89% as recently as 2015. Meanwhile, the share who identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual rose to 15%, up from 8% in 2015, when the survey began asking about sexual orientation.