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FamilyFacts.org: More Than Half of U.S. Teens Have Remained Sexually Abstinent
Posted By Sarah Torre On March 10, 2011 @ 3:00 pm In Culture | Comments Disabled
Despite the prevalence of TV shows detailing the tawdry lifestyles and nonchalant hook-up scene of the supposedly typical American teenager, more young people are choosing to remain abstinent. According to a recent report  from the National Survey of Family Growth, more than a quarter of young men and women between 15 and 24 years old report never having had sexual contact. Likewise, as shown in new charts on FamilyFacts.org , more than half  of all U.S. high school students report remaining abstinent, an 18 percent increase since the 1990s.
The increase in purity’s popularity may be credited in part to strong families. Teens from intact, married families are less likely to be sexually active  and also less likely to abuse drugs and/or alcohol, exhibit poor social behaviors, or participate in violent crimes . Consistent parental involvement, especially from fathers, is also related to decreased likelihood of teen pregnancy .
These and other social benefits of intact families are at risk in future generations, however. While teen pregnancy rates are on the decline , the number of unwed births continues to increase. Of the four in 10 children born outside of marriage today , over 60 percent  are to mothers in their 20s. With more women putting childbearing before marriage, a greater number of children will be left without the economic advantages  or social guidance  that tends to come from married families.
Policymakers can help  avoid some of the consequences of unwed childbearing, however, by encouraging marriage and promoting policies that recognize the integral role of healthy, intact families on the social and economic well-being of children and adolescents.
Read more about abstinence trends among teens and emerging adults here .
To learn more about the role of family and religious practice in maintaining limited government and civil society in America, visit FamilyFacts.org .
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2011/03/10/familyfacts-org-more-than-half-of-u-s-teens-have-remained-sexually-abstinent/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/familyfacts/charts/250-FF-download.jpg
 recent report: http://www.foundry.org/2011/03/04/new-survey-on-abstinence-and-sexual-activity-the-good-news-and-the-bad-news/
 FamilyFacts.org: http://www.familyfacts.org/
 more than half: http://www.familyfacts.org/charts/250/the-majority-of-high-school-students-have-remained-sexually-abstinent
 less likely to be sexually active: http://www.familyfacts.org/charts/260/teens-in-intact-families-are-less-likely-to-have-engaged-in-recent-sexual-activity
 less likely to abuse drugs and/or alcohol, exhibit poor social behaviors, or participate in violent crimes: http://www.familyfacts.org/briefs/40/parental-involvement-and-childrens-well-being
 likelihood of teen pregnancy: http://www.familyfacts.org/briefs/42/parents-influence-on-adolescents-sexual-behavior
 teen pregnancy rates are on the decline: http://www.familyfacts.org/charts/276/teen-pregnancy-rates-have-declined-significantly-among-all-racial-groups
 four in 10 children born outside of marriage today: http://familyfacts.org/charts/205/more-than-four-in-10-children-are-born-to-unwed-mothers
 over 60 percent: http://www.familyfacts.org/charts/209/most-unwed-childbearing-occurs-among-females-in-their-twenties
 economic advantages: http://www.foundry.org//2011/02/08/national-marriage-week-it-pays-to-get-married-even-in-a-recession/
 social guidance: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/01/marriage-parentage-and-the-constitution-of-the-family
 can help: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/08/making-federal-policy-marriage-friendly
 here: http://www.nationalreview.com/blogs/print/261447
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