The share of high school students who are sexually active has fluctuated since , ranging from 30 to 38 percent. In , Appendix 1 Among black students, however, the proportion who reported they were sexually active decreased from 59 percent in to 33 percent in
The UK has the highest rate of teenage pregnancies in western Europe. Although there is a large body of literature focusing on predictors of conception among this age group, almost all the work compares those young women who have become pregnant with their peers, regardless of whether or not their peers have experienced sexual intercourse. Those who engage in sexual intercourse at a relatively young age will often have had more opportunity to become pregnant than those whose sexual debut comes later.
NCBI Bookshelf. The initiation of sexual intercourse is an important topic in the study and prediction of fertility. In their theoretical analysis of fertility and its determinants, Davis and Blake argued that socioeconomic and other factors affect fertility only through its proximate determinants, that is, through exposure to sexual intercourse, exposure to conception, given intercourse, and gestation and successful parturition, given conception. Since under all but exceptional circumstances, conception does not occur without it, sexual intercourse is the first of these proximate factors to be examined. In the past, fertility was studied primarily within marriage.
Sexual feelings, attractions, fantasies and desires affect virtually all people from at least puberty onwards. The average age of puberty for girls in the UK is 12 to 13, 13 to 14 for boys. In common with other aspects of development, the age at which puberty occurs varies widely from person to person. It is normal for the onset of puberty in different individuals to start as young as 8 or to be delayed until 16 or The age at which people first begin to act on their sexual interests also varies widely and can be affected by a large range of factors including biological development, hormone levels, cultural factors, religious and moral views, upbringing, self-esteem, education and socio-economic status. Wide variation in age at sexual debut is part of the normal spectrum of adolescent development. By the end of the teenage years most young people in the UK will have had sex. The average age of sexual debut in the UK is 16 —