Most teenage boys—85 percent—use a condom the first time they ever have sex, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday. Girls follow closely at 78 percent. But they are not consistent—only about half of teenage females and 67 percent of males said they had used condoms all the time over the past month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.
The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics broke down face-to-face interviews of more than 22,000 teens for its study on sexual behavior. They found that 43 percent of teenage girls who have never been married, or 4.4 million of them, had ever had sex. The percentage of boys was similar, at 42 percent. This is virtually unchanged from 2002.
The longer a girl or boy waited to have sex the first time, the more likely he or she was to use a condom, which is the best way to protect against sexually transmitted diseases as well as pregnancy, the report found.
“For example, among never-married sexually active females who were aged 14 or under at first sex, 73 percent used contraception at last sex compared with 93 percent of those who were aged 17-19 at first sex,” it reads.
And, perhaps unsurprisingly, teenage girls had mixed feelings about losing their virginity.
“Among females aged 18-24 whose first sex was before age 20, 11 percent ‘didn’t really want it to happen at the time,’ 48 percent had mixed feelings, and 41 percent ‘really wanted it to happen at the time,’ ” the report reads.
Boys were a little more gung-ho. “Among males aged 18–24 whose first sex was before age 20, 63 percent reported really wanting it to happen at the time, while 33 percent reported mixed feelings and only 5 percent reported not really wanting it to happen.”