Mar 4 2011 8:13am

For The Love Of . . . Not Doing It?

The National Center for Health Statistics released a study this week that more teens are holding off on having sex. Out of those age 15-19, the study found 45 percent of girls and 41 percent of boys reported no sexual contact (including oral sex), compared to 36 percent of girls and 35 percent of boys in 2002.

Experts make some guesses to explain the decline, from unwanted pregnancy and STDs to the emphasis on abstinence.

One theory, which is one that sounds plausible to us, is that teens are just too consumed by the everyday—they've got their smartphones, their video games, their social networking shenanigans, their Hot Topic clothes to fuss over, school, friends, not bullying, sports, American Idol, Twilight obsession, ad nauseum.

In other words, teens are getting more like adults everyday—too busy to get busy.

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Saundra Peck
1. sk1336
As the mother of 3 children, 20 yoa and up, I have to say that this news is good. As a 40 something woman, I say that the news needs to get much much better... I'm about to sound OLD but...What happened to the days when looking at a boy or holding hands or even kissing was enough of a thrill? What happened to reading about romance instead of acting on every urge? Why is every teen or tween movie and t.v. show sexualized? Why do parents not tell these children NO? I am glad my kids missed out on most of these pressures today, because I have to say, since I would be saying NO all the time...they would hate being my kids. It was bad enough that I made them keep the computer in the main living area (following the safety suggestions of the early internet days!), but the smartphone of today??? no no no no . Keeping these children busy with things that give them a passion for the future is smart parenting...and if it ALSO keeps them from getting busy...bonus!
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
@Sk1336 I agree that society is far too sexualized for teens (I have an 11 y.o., and so I hear you!), but I bet that there are a lot of teens for whom kissing, etc., is still a thrill. They just probably don't talk about it for fear of not seeming risk-taking or with it enough.
3. thewriterach
I'm 20 years old, and I've never kissed a boy or held hands with a boy, so for me, it would still be a thrill.  I know I'm hardly the norm, but we still exist, even if we are an endangered species!  I'm just waiting for the right one to come along.  ;)
Megan Frampton
4. MFrampton
@thewriterach Wow! Good for you. I am glad to hear you guys are out there.
Charli Mac
5. CharliMac
My little girl will be 13 at the end of this month. I have done all I can to keep her as informed as possible and that waiting is the right thing to do. I also remind her at the end of every mommy chat that daddy is strapped. Fo' reals.
6. thewriterach
@MFrampton:  Thanks!  It's lonely sometimes, but I know it will be worth it!
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