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Opening Arguments

No sex, please, I'm just a kid


 American teens are having less sex, especially boys.

The Centers for Disease Control and Preventionsurveyed roughly 2,000 boys and girls, 15 to 19 and found the percentage of teens who reported they had sex at least once has dropped significantly since the 80s. The decline for male teens was greater than female teens.

In 2013, 44% of teenage girls surveyed said they had experienced sex, compared to 51% in 1988.

For teenaged boys, the drop was more dramatic. In 1988, 60% reported they’d had sex compared to only 47% in 2013.

If this survey is accurate, almost half of boys and girls are still having sex, and that's a big number. But the trend is signioficant, at least in my experience with life as it is on this planet. The story postulates that because of the Web and social media, kids are better at informing themselves and thus are paying attention to the dangers of teen sex. Teens making more informed decisions? As I said, it's this planet we're talking about.

But maybe we ought not to have faith in its accuracy. It's based, after all, on what teens are saying to adults taking a survey. Perhaps what this means is that what we're really seeing is a lack of trust by the teens and therefore a decision not to give the pollsters a straight answer.

Or maybe it is the social media, in a way. We already know social media use consumes attention at the expense of other activities. If it's causing a drop-off in sexxual activity, man, it's even more powerful than we supposed.