Who Most Influences Teens’ Decisions about Sex? New Survey Findings Released Show Parents are Most Influential.

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Teens say parents most influence their decisions about sex, according to new national survey data released today by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Teens age 12-19 say parents are more influential than friends, the media, siblings, teachers and educators, and others, according to the representative survey of 3,038 individuals age 12-24.

Since peaking in 1991, the teen pregnancy rate in the U.S. has declined by 55% and teen births have plummeted 64%. Yet, progress remains uneven, great disparities remain, and nearly 1 in 4 teens get pregnant by age 20.

Teens say parents most influence their decisions about sex, according to new national survey data released today by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Teens age 12-19 say parents are more influential than friends, the media, siblings, teachers and educators, and others, according to the representative survey of 3,038 individuals age 12-24.

Among the results of the survey:

  • Both younger teens (52% of those age 12-15) and older teens (32% of those age 16-19) say parents most influence their decisions about sex. Friends are cited second most often by both age groups.
  • Non-Hispanic black teens (54%), Hispanic teens (50%), and Non-Hispanic White teens (43%) all say parents most influence their decisions about sex.
  • Those age 20-24 (27%) say friends most influence their decisions about sex; 16% of those age 20-21 and 19% of those age 22-24 cite parents.

Since peaking in 1991, the teen pregnancy rate in the U.S. has declined by 55% and teen births have plummeted 64%. Yet, progress remains uneven, great disparities remain, and nearly 1 in 4 teens get pregnant by age 20. Despite recent declines, nearly half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned and rates are higher for low income women and women of color.

The survey results are part of TheNC@20, an initiative marking the 20th anniversary of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. TheNC@20 celebrates two decades of historic declines in teen pregnancy while recognizing that progress cannot be mistaken for victory.

About the survey: The public opinion data reported here are drawn from the TRU Youth Monitor 2016, a survey of 3,038 individuals age 12-24 and fielded online in November and December 2015. The sample is representative of the U.S. population, including non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic Blacks. Hispanic respondents were able to take the survey in either English or Spanish. The margin of error is +/- 1.78% at the 95% confidence level.

About The National Campaign: The National Campaign is a private, non-profit organization that seeks to improve the lives and future prospects of children and families by preventing teen and unplanned pregnancy. Please visit http://www.TheNationalCampaign.org to find out more.

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Bill Albert
The National Campaign
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