BALTIMORE (WJZ) — According to a new study, high schoolers are waiting to have sex – and when they do, they have fewer sexual partners – but other findings aren’t all positive.
The teen years may be a time for exploration of all subjects, but a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found fewer high schoolers are engaging in sex.
The findings have garnered giggles around town.
[Reporter: Are you surprised by that?]
“Kind of, yeah,” said Sydney Cockerille of Towson.
[Reporter: Good news for you as a mom?]
“Perfect news for me. I have a daughter and a son, so yes,” said Monyette Pope.
[Reporter: You’ve got to be excited about that as a mom.]
“Yeah, of course. When I was growing up, it wasn’t like that, but that’s good to hear. It’s very good to hear,” said Shandeli Daye.
In 2017, about 39 percent of high schoolers said they had already had sex. That number is down from nearly 48 percent a decade ago. Illicit drug use like cocaine and heroin also decreased.
But the study found bullying is now a bigger threat, and suicide attempts went up.
Pediatrician Mike Zollicoffer says teens may be more isolated because of social media.
“You don’t have personal interactions, more touchy-feely anymore, so I think those are the things that also help drive up depression and things of that nature because you just don’t talk anymore,” said Dr. Zollicoffer of Sinai Hospital in Baltimore.
On the subject of sex, Dr. Zollicoffer said social media could actually have a positive influence. Young adults may choose to refrain from sex out of fear of how they’re perceived online.
“Yeah, I’m surprised because the way our kids are growing up these days, you know, a lot of things are going too fast,” one father said.
“I think more kids are trying to get more focused on their actual education,” student Ariel Balbossa said.
Even though researchers found that fewer teens are using illicit drugs, 14 percent admitted they’ve misused painkillers. This is the first time that particular data was collected.
While fewer teens are having sex those who do are still at risk for STDs because they are not using condoms, researchers say.
[H/T CBS Baltimore]