Researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics, using new data of never-married teens, found a record 58% of girls and 56% of boys between 15 and 19 years old had abstain from vaginal intercourse. Coinciding with this increase in teens choosing abstinence and less teen sexual activity, teen birth rates and teen abortion rates are at a record low. In fact, the majority of teens who have had sex say they wish they had waited.
Teenagers may decide not to have sex to uphold moral values or to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. The only 100% way to avoid unexpected pregnancy and contracting sexually transmitted diseases is for both people to postpone sexual activity until marriage. For teens who have already had sex, there is always the option to choose abstinence going forward, reduce the frequency of sexual activity as well as reduce the number of sexual partners.
Teenager who choose abstinence may feel pressured to do so. Ways to withstand pressure include remembering that it’s possible - and healthy - to care about and love someone without having sex, and to be clear about your decision with your partner. Going on dates in groups and in public places, as well as always having an escape plan for situations where you may feel uncomfortable, are also good strategies for keeping your vow to abstain.
Mostly importantly, remember that you are in control of your life and your decisions. This will help you stay strong if you feel pressured by others to have sex
Launched in 1996 through a state-sponsored initiative to lower abortion rates, Real Alternatives originally served women through 72 centers across Pennsylvania.