Study Shows That Teenage Boys Are More Sexually Responsible Than Adults

A new study, based on the widest survey of Americans’ sexual activity since 1992, revealed some startling facts: teenagers, especially teenage boys, are far more likely to use condoms during sexual intercourse than adults involved in sexual liaisons.  Among a group of sexually active 14 to 17-year-olds, 80 percent of boys and 69 percent of girls said that they had used a condom the last time they had intercourse, compared with well under half of adults.

Considering the abysmal sex education that many youth in our country receive, it’s heartening to see that they’re still absorbing the idea that contraception is a crucial part of sexual responsibility.  Dr. J. Dennis Fortenberry, a professor of pediatrics, explained to the New York Times that he believes that “there’s the same general widespread sense among contemporary teenagers that as you get to the point where you start thinking about having sex, condoms are going to be part of that decision.”

The study included some other, more disturbing findings.  Almost a third of women surveyed said that they had experienced pain the last time they had sex, compared to 5 percent of men, and only two-thirds said that they had achieved orgasm (although 85 percent of men said that they believed their heterosexual partners had had an orgasm).  And even though the fact that men don’t as readily admit to experiencing pain may mean that the statistics on male pain and pleasure may be different, this clearly represents a need for more information about female sexual pleasure and communication during sex.

Overall, the study represents a welcome addition to a somewhat sparse collection of information about Americans’ sexual practices and attitudes.  These studies usually need to be funded by private sources rather than the government, and it can be hard to find backers.  This study was financed by the makers of Trojan condoms.

Monica Rodriguez, president of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S., explained why studies like these are so crucial.  Although Americans are inundated with sexual imagery, she said, they lack access to reliable information about sex.  “That’s why this is so important,” she said, “it gives us a sense of what’s really happening, instead of all this, ‘Well, my sex life must not be normal, because I don’t do this or only do this.’”

Photo from Flickr.

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jane richmond
jane richmond5 years ago

Something is better than nothing. Still not crazy about the activity being viewed as a sport by the young.

Sue T.
Susan T.5 years ago

So why is this titled "Teenaged Boys are more sexually responsible than adults"?

Really? I find this a bit misleading. boys & girls vs. men & women.

and how are the boys "more" responsible?

and what does pain experienced during sex or having an orgasm have to do with being responsible?

This is misleading and really told me nothing except teen's are having sex and they are "responsible",

sorry ... don't get the point of this.

Nicole C.
Past Member 5 years ago

When I was a teen, all my peers said they used condoms. If someone told me they didn't, I know I would have given them a lecture and a trip to the store for a box and the STD clinic. I'm glad most teen are using condoms but that number needs to be much higher! More education is the way to go.

Jennifer Martin
Jennifer M.5 years ago

Wow, that's a surprise. Although, adults are pretty ignorant a lot of the time...

Philippa P.
Philippa P.5 years ago


Lynn Porter
5 years ago

When I was a teen I came up with what I thought was a really smart saying.........(total lack of experiential knowledge). This paradigm of stupidity was "What they (parents, adults) don't know won't hurt me." Wrong!!!!!

Today I would say, let parents be available for their children and teens to talk with about anything with no penalty attached. If they come to talk to you about the last time they took drugs, don't them. That's why they came to you.

My husband and I made a point of being available, without penalty, to our daughter. Today she is a successful young woman with an excellent marriage and a rewarding job as a counselor. She is also a successful artist as is her husband.

And we have a healthy relationship that we both enjoy.

Tracy Cruze
Tracy Cruze5 years ago


Frank Svatek
Frank Svatek5 years ago

Ditto the comments from Christine S. and Jim S. ! I need to learn of these somewhat optimistic truths to help me temper my bitter, angry old man attitude that sometimes overwhelms me. Thanks!

Eldon W.
Eldon W.5 years ago

If true (a big IF) this is encouraging. The word is getting out about sexual responsibility - even though the churches are supressing the hell out of the truth about sexuality, and its challenges.

Christine S.

I don't know if using condoms means they are actually more responsible, but I am glad they are using contraception at least!