Posted by: laughs4dads | August 27, 2010

And the Survey Says…

In a July 22nd post, AOL Health Editors ask an important question:

Why does AOL have health editors?

No, that wasn’t the question. The question was: How many teens have had sex?

This question, apparently, has been answered by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, which has released statistics based on face-to-face interviews with nearly 2,800 teens ages 15 through 19 conducted in their homes by trained female interviewers in the years 2006 through 2008. According to this study, more than 40% of unmarried U.S. teenagers have had sex, many with trained female interviewers.

Okay, I made up that last part. But, really, under what circumstances would a teenager let somebody into his or her home for an open and frank discussion of his or her sexual activity?

[Doorbell rings]

Teen (who has been trained to always ask “who is it” before opening the door]: Whoosit?

Interviewer: A trained female interviewer from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics here to ask you some questions about your sexual activity.

Teen (who has not been trained beyond asking “who is it”): Well, come on in.

Interviewer: Is your mom or dad home?

Teen: Why, yes. (Calling) Mom, come on down and listen to me answer questions about my sexual activity from this nice trained female interviewer.

Oh, all right. I’ll give the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics the benefit of the doubt and assume that the interviews were conducted under controlled circumstances, with appointments having been made in advance, and no parents, guardians, or nosy siblings being in the house, and assurances that no recording devices of any type are on the premises, which is difficult, because, these days, just about everything is a recording device, including, probably, some toasters.

I’m also going to out on a limb and assume that the interviews were conducted among a representative sampling of American teens: some from the heartland, some from the coasts, some from Sarah Palin’s house. Hopefully it included kids from all religious and ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds and cable TV networks (Disney or Nickelodeon). It seems to me that 2,800 is a small sample to get a full representation, but, again, I’ll assume they know what they’re doing, just as any agency of the federal government would. (You can’t see it, but I’m holding up a sign that says “Sarcasm.”)

So let’s get to some of the statistics. According to this post:

>Girls who started having sex when they were younger were more likely to have more partners. Was a research study really necessary to determine this? I mean, you could pretty much say this about anything. People who begin eating cupcakes earlier are more likely to eat more cupcakes.

>79% of girls and 87% of boys said they used some form of contraception during their first intercourse. The discrepancy is because 8% of boys thought that saying “Don’t worry; nothing will happen” was a form of contraception.

>14% of girls and 18% of boys say they would be “pleased” or “very pleased” if they or their partner became pregnant. But, then again, think about how famous all those pregnant boys would be.

>58% of never-married teen girls and 47% percent of boys said they would be “very upset” if a pregnancy resulted from their sexual activity. Hmm. Let’s do the math, shall we? This means that 72% of girls and 65% of boys would be either pleased or upset if they got pregnant. This leaves a sizable chunk that had no opinion, or didn’t know what the word “pregnant” meant, or, most likely, had passed the 30 second point at which teenagers can no longer pay attention. The interviewer was still asking questions, but the teens’ eyes had glazed over, and their minds were already searching for the next bit of stimulus.

Probably something to do with sex.




  1. mark – you continue to make me laugh — thanks

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