American teenagers are waiting longer before first engaging in sexual intercourse, and an overwhelming majority of those who are sexually active report using contraception, according to a comprehensive, well-respected government survey released yesterday.
The report examining youth behavior found that more young men in particular have postponed sex -- 46 percent were sexually active in 2002, compared with 55 percent in 1995 -- and that 91 percent of those who had sex in the previous three months used contraception. Washington Post, December 11, 2004.
Interesting study. More younger people are abstaining sex until much longer. The report further states:
"The really good news is that kids are waiting. They are getting to maturity so they can make healthier choices," said Joneen Krauth-Mackenzie, executive director of the Denver-based Abstinence and Relationship Training Center. "Kids are seeing the cause and effect; they know they need to do something to reduce the risk."
The next step is to shift the focus from contraception to abstinence, she said. "When you engage in those kind of behaviors, you reduce your risk but you don't protect."
And yet the naysayers will come and denounce "abstinence" despite the study. With the correct information, the right message, the indefatigable support and understanding, and parental involvement can lives be shaped sparing young minds from the agony of mistakes.
Whether religious or completely irreligious, the moral imperitive is that people delay sexual activity at least until full adulthood, if not until marriage. So, when we teach abstinence we are not "imposing morality". It also does not mean that we are being blind to reality, either. That's the mistake many people assume when giving out first hand that abstinence ought to come first to these young minds. They have the ability to rationalize rather than the inability not to rationale and think between their legs. They are doing the right thing and working strictly within reality. Deaths, diseases, and pregnancies are the ultimate reality.