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facts about teen sex

when teens start having sex

  • On average, young people have sex for the first time at about age 17.
  • Most very young teens have not had intercourse: only 13% are sexually experienced at age 15.
  • The likelihood of teenagers' having intercourse increases with age; however, 30% of young people do not have intercourse while teenagers.
  • More than half of 17-year-olds have had intercourse.
  • Most young people begin having sex in their mid-to-late teens, about 8 years before they marry.
  • Precocious sex refers to sexual intercourse initiated before 16 years of age. In the United States, more than 30% of adolescent females are sexually precocious, and nearly 60% have engaged in sexual intercourse by age 18.

teen pregnancy

teen pregnancy rates
  • Each year,750,000 women between 15-19 become pregnant.
  • The overall U.S. teenage pregnancy rate declined 37% since 1991, to 7 pregnancies per 100 women aged 15-19.
  • 82% of teen pregnancies are unplanned.
  • Two thirds of all teen pregnancies occur among 18-19 year-olds.
  • Teen pregnancy rates are much higher in the United States than in many other developed countries   twice as high as in the United Kingdom, Sweden, or Canada, and nine times as high as in the Netherlands or Japan.
  • Steep decreases in the pregnancy rate among sexually experienced teenagers accounted for most of the drop in the overall teenage pregnancy rate in the early-to-mid 1990s. It is estimated that 14% of the decline is because of decreased sexual activity and 86% is due to more effective contraceptive use.

teen contraceptive facts

contraceptive limitations

Contraceptives are far less effective for teens and young adults than for older users.

  • Among sexually active teenage girls aged 12 to 18, 20% of oral contraceptive users became pregnant in the first six months.
  • For persons under the age of 18, condoms fail for 18.4% of couples within 12 months.
  • Among teenage girls aged 15 to 17 using oral contraceptives, 13% missed a pill over 3 months time.
  • Among this same group, 17% missed two or more pills over 3 months time.
  • Teens are less likely than older women to practice contraception consistently and more likely to practice contraception sporadically or not at all.
  • In preventing pregnancy, condoms have a general standardized failure rate of 14.7 percent over the course of a year.
  • For teens living together, condoms users experienced an unplanned pregnancy over 50 percent of the time over the course of a year.
  • Half of all contracepting teens girls living with a boyfriend experience a contraceptive failure within a year.
  • 15% of all contracepting teens girls who do not live with a boyfriend experience a contraceptive failure within a year.
  • For teens not living together, condoms users experienced an unplanned pregnancy over 14-23 percent of the time over the course of a year.
  • For oral contraceptives, the risk of contraceptive failure is 55% higher among women younger than twenty.
  • The typical woman who uses reversible methods of contraception continuously from her 15th to her 45th birthday will experience 1.8 contraceptive failures, assuming she uses contraception perfectly each time. Most women will experience more failures due to imperfect use.
  • Failure rates are highest for women younger than 20 (16%), and decrease steadily with age, to 9% for women aged 30 and older.

unwanted teen sex

  • Previously abused teens are more likely to have partners 5 years their senior and may be more likely to attempt pregnancy with these adult partners.
  • While 93% of teenage women report that their first intercourse was voluntary, one-quarter of these young women report that it was unwanted.
  • It is estimated that between 35% and 60% of teenage mothers were sexually abused or had unwanted or coercive sexual experiences before pregnancy.
  • The younger women are when they first have intercourse, the more likely they are to have had unwanted or involuntary first sex — 7 in 10 of those who had sex before age 13, for example.
  • Childhood and adolescent sexual abuse is considered a potential contributor to STDs. Sexual abuse includes contact or noncontact molestation, coercive sexual experiences, attempted rape, and rape. The prevalence of STDs in sexual abuse victims varies depending on the prevalence in the community, the type of STD, and the type of abuse.
  • Up to 12% of sexually abused children may be infected with STDs, and chlamydia and gonorrhea are the most frequently found STDs among sexually abused adolescent females.
  • As the percentage of teenagers initiating sex at young ages increases, their likelihood of exposure to multiple partners also rises, which increases their risk for STDs.

teens & std

  • Every year 3 million teens acquire an STD.
  • Every year about 1 in 4 sexually experienced teens acquire an STD.
  • In a single act of unprotected sex with an infected partner, a teenage woman has a 1% risk of acquiring HIV, a 30% risk of getting genital herpes and a 50% chance of contracting gonorrhea.
  • Chlamydia is more common among teens than among older men and women; in some settings, 10-29% of sexually active teenage women and 10% of teenage men tested for STDs have been found to have chlamydia.
  • Teens have higher rates of gonorrhea than do sexually active men and women aged 20-44.
  • In some studies, up to 15% of sexually active teenage women have been found to be infected with the human papillomavirus, many with a strain of the virus linked to cervical cancer.
  • Teenage women have a higher hospitalization rate than older women for acute pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which is most often caused by untreated gonorrhea or chlamydia. PID can lead to infertility and ectopic pregnancy.
  • Childhood and adolescent sexual abuse is considered a potential contributor to STDs. Sexual abuse includes contact or noncontact molestation, coercive sexual experiences, attempted rape, and rape. The prevalence of STDs in sexual abuse victims varies depending on the prevalence in the community, the type of STD, and the type of abuse.
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