New CDC survey announces that teens are taking less risks

Jamileh Hamadeh, Staff Writer

Should teens stop risking it? A CDC survey that was recently released shows that a large amount of high school teenagers are declining the amount of risky behavior they are getting involved in after seeing some harsh consequences. Some think that the decline in this behavior is because the fear teenagers are starting to have of sexually transmitted diseases and infections or even pregnancies. This survey was taken from 125 schools, both public and private, and about 16,000 students had participated in taking it. The survey was voluntary but it required a parent’s signature in order to take it.

The government survey shows teenagers today are having way less sexual intercourse than they used to, as well as using fewer drugs and drinking alcohol much less often than before. The bold decline in sexual activity really stood out to researchers who were analyzing the recent survey.

The survey shows that overall in 2015, 41.2% of teenagers said that they have had sexual intercourse. This percent has gone down since 2013, where the survey read that 46.8% of teens have has sexual intercourse. In the 2015 survey, it shows that 48.5% of African American teens, 42.5% of Hispanic teens, and 39.9% of white teens have had sexual intercourse. According to the CDC, the same rate was found in 2005. The survey also found that 30% of teenagers have had sexual intercourse in the past three months which is 5% less than what the previous 6 surveys have found. 11% of teens say that they have 3 or more sex partners which is about 4% less than what the previous years show. The survey shows that 27.3% of 9th-grade boys who took the survey said they have had sexual intercourse before. This is less than the 2013 survey which claimed 32% of 9th-grade boys have had sexual intercourse. The freshman girls who were a part of the survey showed that 20.7% have had sexual intercourse before which is a big percentage fall from what the 2013 survey read which was 28.1%.

The survey shows that 4% of teens have had sex before the age of 13 which has dropped from 7% in the previous survey.

Another topic that the survey covers is smoking. The survey shows that less than 11% of teenagers who took the survey have smoked cigarettes within the past month. This is the lowest that rate has ever been since the CDC started giving out the survey. When the CDC first started giving these surveys out, the average percent of teens that smoked cigarettes were more than 27%. Vaping was newly added to the survey and it shows that about 25% of the students said they have vaped in the past couple months. 22% of students said they have used marijuana in past months. Other drugs were also a part of the survey and the results were: heroin 2%, cocaine about 5%, and LSD was 6%.

About one-third of the students who participated in taking the survey said that they have had an alcoholic beverage less than a month before taking the CDC survey which is less than the previous percentage: 35%. About 60% of the students who participated said that they have never had a drink before.

Government officials say they’d like to see what the next surveys results look like to make sure it is not a statistical mistake.