Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 1998. Teen Behavior Risk Factor 4. Early Sexual Intercourse

10/01/1998

Early sexual intercourse is a strong predictor of subsequent childbearing at an early age, which increases the risk of dependence.

Figure TEEN 4. Percentage of High School Students Grades 9 to 12 Who Reported Ever Having Sexual Intercourse, 1997

Figure TEEN 4. Percentage of High School Students Grades 9 to 12 Who Reported Ever Having Sexual Intercourse, 1997

Source: Table TEEN 4.


  • Between 1995 and 1997, the percentage of high school students reporting ever had sexual intercourse dropped by 5 percentage points, from 53 percent to 48 percent, as shown in Table TEEN 4.
  • The percentage of high school students who report ever having had sexual intercourse increases with each grade, particularly among female students. In 1997, the rates rose from 34 percent for female 9th grade students to 62 percent for female 12th grade students, as depicted in Figure TEEN 4.
  • Female students in grade 9 were less likely than their male counterparts to report ever having had sexual intercourse (34 percent compared to 42 percent). By grades 10 through 12, however, rates reported by female students had risen slightly above rates reported by male students.
  • As shown in Table TEEN 4, in 1997, four-fifths (80 percent) of non-Hispanic black male students reported ever having had sexual intercourse, a percentage that is 14 percentage points above the 66 percent reported by non-Hispanic black female students. Among Hispanic students, the rate for males (58 percent) is 12 percentage points higher than the rate for females (46 percent). Among non-Hispanic white students, however, nearly equal percentages of males and females report ever having had sexual intercourse – 43 percent for males and 44 percent for females.

Table TEEN 4. Percentage of High School Students Grades 9 to 12 Who Reported Ever Having Sexual Intercourse, 1995 and 1997

  1995 1997
  Total Male Female Total Male Female
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Surveillance Summaries, Vol. 45 No. SS-4 and Vol. 47, No. SS-3, Table 26.
Total 53.1 54.0 52.1 48.4 48.9 47.7
Grade
9 36.9 40.6 32.1 38.0 41.8 34.0
10 48.0 50.0 46.0 42.5 41.7 43.5
11 58.6 57.1 60.2 49.7 49.3 50.3
12 66.4 67.1 66.0 60.9 60.1 61.9
Racial Categories
Non-Hispanic White 48.9 48.9 49.0 43.6 43.3 44.0
Non-Hispanic Black 73.4 81.0 67.0 72.7 80.3 65.6
Hispanic 57.6 62.0 53.3 52.2 57.7 45.7

 

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