Teens’ Sex Lives Suck, Too


In May, AARP made headlines when its latest sex survey showed that the economy had taken a serious toll on the sex lives of the 45 and over set. Baby boomers are having way less sex now than they were in 2004, and even when they are, they’re enjoying it less, AARP declared. But now it looks like it’s not just baby boomers who aren’t getting any. The Centers for Disease Control Monday released the 2009 data from its Youth Risk Surveillance System, which showed that teenagers were just a tiny bit less sexually active in 2009 than they were in 2007 (a data point evangelical Christian groups are, naturally, promoting as a sign that abstinence education is working).

More interesting, there was a bigger dip in the number of 9th through 12th graders who were getting wasted first and then having sex, a sign, perhaps, that today’s recession-worn teenagers can’t afford the sexual lubricants of booze or drugs. Either that or they’re choosing to spend that money on birth control instead. The use of the Pill or Depo Provera shots went up sharply between 2007 and 2009. Sadly, that still means only 22 percent of teen girls are taking serious measures to prevent pregnancy. Still, the numbers suggest that, as with the baby boomers, the recession may have left teenagers feeling a lot less randy–one side-effect of the economic downturn their parents are no doubt cheering.

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