The notion that the youngest adolescents – ages 10 to 12 – are more sexually active today than in the past is greatly exaggerated, says a new report in the April issue of Pediatrics.
It finds that among both boys and girls, only 0.6% of 10-year-olds, 1.1% of 11-year-olds and 2.4% of 12-year-olds, have had sex, and the incidence of pregnancy among girls age 12 or younger "is minuscule."
The study also finds that sex among very young adolescents is frequently involuntary; 62% of girls who had sex by age 10 say their first encounter was coerced. Coercion was also cited by 50% of those who had sex by age 11 and 23% who had sex by age 12.
By middle adolescence, sexual activity is more common among teens but only for a minority (5.4% of 13-year-olds; 11% of 14-year-olds; 20% of 15-year-olds; 33% of 16-year-olds ). Although more than half of older teens (ages 17 to 19) have had sex, 25% of both males and females have not had sex by age 20.
Source: USA Today