Kids these days. High-schoolers think that they actually have something to say (they do). The nerve. Now we hear that they’re drinking less, smoking less, and having less sex? It’s like they’re actually thinking about their futures and making the right choices. The chutzpah of this crowd!
According to a recent CDC survey, that’s exactly what they’re doing. “I think you can call this the cautious generation,” said Bill Albert, spokesman for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, in an attempt to make this generation sound like the most square group of nerds ever. But, he’s right. The survey found that almost every risky behavior was in decline.
To get these results 16,000 students were surveyed at 125 schools, both public and private. Participation was voluntary and required parental permission. The findings were surprising. The survey found 41 percent of students on average said they had ever had sex, bringing the number down from 47 percent, where it’s held steady for the past decade. Researchers attribute that decline to increased education and open discussion about sex in the media to open the forum around sex ed.
One more possibility, Albert said, is that “parking at Lookout Point has given way to texting from your mom’s living-room couch.” Mom’s couch doesn’t really have the same allure as Lookout Point, but it’s also got blankets and a TV. Does Lookout Point have that? (No, probably only murderers up there now.)
According to the research, 30 percent of the students involved said they’d had sex in the previous three months, down from about 34 percent to 35 percent reported in each of the previous six surveys. About 11 percent had four or more sex partners, down from the 14 percent to 15 percent seen over the previous decade, and about 4 percent said they’d had sex before they turned 13, down from 6 percent to 7 percent.
Sex wasn’t the only extracurricular under attack by caution and forethought! The survey found that alcohol use and smoking were dropping as well. Just under a third of the participants had at least one alcoholic drink in the 30 days before the survey, down from 35 percent in the last survey and down from 45 percent in 2007. And only about 63 percent had ever taken a drink, down from 66 percent in 2013 and a whopping 75 percent in 2007.
While sex and drinking are down, there’s one area of the survey that’s actually legitimately troubling. Questions regarding prescription drugs revealed that 17 percent of the surveyed students had taken medications without a prescription. These included painkillers like Oxycontin and Vicodin, as well as ADHD drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin. It’s important to note that these numbers are still on the decline, but at 17 percent, the rate of prescription drug use amongst teens is still alarmingly high.
(Via Daily Mail)