September 21, HealthDay —In a finding that should ease parents' minds, new research shows that fewer American teens are having sex and most of those who do are using some form of birth control. But scientists also found that sexual violence has become more common among high school students and condom use has declined. For the study, the researchers examined national surveys of high school students conducted in , and by the U. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Since Gallup first asked the question in , the number who think sex between teenagers is acceptable has climbed 10 percentage points, six percentage points in the past year alone. Gallup found that different age groups had different opinions, with 59 percent of those years-old saying it was acceptable. For adults aged 65 or over, only 31 percent said it is morally acceptable. There was also a difference of opinion among liberals and conservatives, with 60 percent of liberals saying sex between teens is acceptable, compared to only 26 percent of conservatives. Religious views also influenced how teenage sex is viewed.
The sexuality of US adolescents includes both their feelings, behaviors and development, and the place adolescent sexuality has in American society, including the response of the government , educators, parents, and other interested groups. Teenage pregnancy is four times as prevalent in the US as in the European Union,  but has been steadily declining since , reaching a record low in , according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC , and continuing to decline through More than half of the schools in the study followed a comprehensive approach that included information about both abstinence and contraception, while approximately one third of schools provided students with abstinence-only sex education.
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