U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration

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Sexual Activity

In 2007, 47.8 percent of high school students reported ever having had sexual intercourse, representing a slight increase from the previous year, while the remaining 52.2 percent were abstinent. Overall, 35 percent of students reported that they were currently sexually active (had intercourse at least once in the 3 months before the survey): 21.5 percent were currently sexually active and reported using a condom during their last sexual intercourse, while 13.5 percent were currently sexually active and reported not using a condom during their last encounter (i.e., 61 percent of sexually active students used a condom during their last encounter).

Sexual activity and condom use vary by race and ethnicity. In 2007, non-Hispanic Black students were most likely to report ever having sexual intercourse (66.5 percent), and most likely to report using a condom during their last sexual encounter (67.3 percent of currently sexually active students). Hispanic students were second most likely to report ever having had sexual intercourse (52.0 percent), followed by non-Hispanic White students (43.7 percent; data not shown).

In 2007, sexual activity increased with grade level, while condom use decreased. Among 12th grade students, 52.6 percent reported being currently sexually active: 28.5 percent were currently sexually active and used a condom during their last intercourse, while 24.1 percent were sexually active and did not use a condom (i.e., just over half of sexually active 12th graders used a condom during their last encounter). In contrast, 20.1 percent of 9th graders were sexually active: 6.2 percent of 9th graders were sexually active and not using a condom, while 13.9 percent were sexually active and used a condom during their last sexual encounter (i.e., almost 70 percent of sexually active 9th graders used a condom during their last encounter).

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