American high school-aged teens engagement in risky behaviors are reportedly on the decline in recent years. According to a study by the Center for Disease Control and reported by the International Business Times, within the last decade the rate of high school teens having sex has gone down dramatically. Sex among students has dropped from 46.8 percent to 41.2 percent. The decline is steady and prominent even in younger students such as in middle school.
According to another study report by IBT, there are many reasons why teens are not having sex as early. One of the main reasons for female students not participating in intercourse is that “I am proud I can say no and mean it.” For males, it is “my current partner (or last) is (was) not willing.” This reasoning shows that female students are more empowered to say no and male students are more respectful to their wishes.
“Student [now] are under a lot more stressed than the previous generations,” said Sophia O’neal, a senior from John F. Kennedy High School. “They don’t have a lot of time to think about those kind of thing like sex and drugs. School is something that is important for me and I focus on it a lot.”
One thing to keep in mind is how much riskier the behaviors that teens participate in have increased. It comes down to quantity versus quality. Teens may be using less drugs now than the previous generation, but according to the San Diego Union Tribune, drugs like methamphetamine have gotten purer and deadlier in recent years.