Sensible, family-loving teens behind pregnancy rate drop

Teenagers are becoming less likely to have sex, preferring to spend time with their families and having romantic relationships online, a study suggests. The BBC reports.

A survey of 1,000 16- to 18-year-olds also found they were drinking much less. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service said this may explain the sharp fall in teen pregnancies in the UK since 2007.

Two-thirds of the teenagers surveyed said they had never had sex. And 24% said they had never drunk alcohol.

More than 80% of those surveyed said performing well in exams or succeeding in their chosen career was their top priority, compared with 68% who said spending time with friends was of most importance.

The researchers suggest young people who regularly socialise face to face with their friends or partners are more likely to be sexually active.

The BPAS survey found attitudes had also changed – four out of five young people felt there was now a stigma attached to becoming a teenage parent and young women no longer expected to be supported by the state or their family if they became pregnant.

BPAS head of policy research Katherine O’Brien said the government’s plan for mandatory relationships and sex education in schools from September 2019 could bring down teenage conception rates even further if it was comprehensive enough.

“Our research reveals that this is a generation who are focused on their education, aware of economic challenges but determined to succeed regardless and many of whom enjoy time with their families as much as with partners and friends.”

Read my findings Sensible, family-loving teens behind pregnancy rate drop

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter – Tamsin

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