Despite what some adults may want, teens are going to have sex. That means our biggest concern should be making sure that young people are equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to practice sex in the safest and most consensual way possible. And the truth is, teens generally want to be as responsible as possible when they get it on, and often appreciate having the knowledge they need to do so, with more than half saying the seek out information online if they don't get it in school or from parents.
A new study on teens and sex from the Centers For Disease Control show that most teens are using birth control when engaging in sex, and that's a good thing. The data found that 99.4 percent of sexually-experienced (whatever that means) teen girls had used some form of contraception. Eighty-one percent of teen girls said they used birth control the first time they had sex, and about 90 percent said they used it during their last sexual encounter within the previous three months.
That's all great. What's not so great is that while condoms were the most commonly used method of contraception, the second most popular was the pull-out method, which 60 percent of adolescent girls reporting having used this method of birth control.
It's not that the pull-out method is bad, per se. When used perfectly, it's about as effective as condom use. However, it's nearly impossible to use this method perfectly, especially if you are a teen who is just learning what sex feels like and how to navigate your sex organs. According to the Guttmacher Institute, users of the withdrawal method have the highest rates of contraceptive failure, with 20 percent ending in pregnancy within a year.
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