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More teens using condoms? That's what the CDC says

October 13, 2011 |  4:28 pm

Condoms
Teenage boys might be wising up. Finally.

According to new data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of males ages 15 to 19 who used a condom the first time they had sex has increased significantly in the last few years.

The agency says that 8 in 10 of them used a condom the first time they had sex. That's 80% -- up nine percentage points from 2002. But wait, there's more. About 16% used a condom together with a female partner’s hormonal method. 

In a report released Wednesday, the CDC also notes that teenage boys were more likely than teenage girls to have used some type of contraception the first time they had sex. According to the agency, 78% of girls ages 15 to 19 said they used some sort of contraception the first time, compared with 85% of boys.

But overall, the report found, sexual habits among teens have not changed significantly since 2002. The conclusion notes:

"The two determinants of pregnancy -- sexual activity and contraceptive use -- remained stable among teenagers from 2002 through 2006–2010 overall. Specifically, the percentage of never-married male and female teenagers who were sexually experienced, the percentage having had sex recently, and the percentage using a method of contraception at first and at last intercourse, remained unchanged from 2002 through 2006–2010."

Here's the full report, with the catchy title: "Teenagers in the United States: Sexual Activity, Contraceptive Use, and Childbearing, 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth."

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-- Deborah Netburn

Image: Would more teenage boys -- or girls -- use condoms if they all looked this pretty? Credit: Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times

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