Washington, Apr. 3 (ANI): Only 0.6 percent of 10-year-olds, 1.1 percent of 11-year-olds and 2.4 percent of 12-year-olds have had sex, a new study has claimed.
The rates have stayed similar for decades and over the last 50 years, no more than 10 percent of girls have had an sexual intercourse by the age of 14, CBS News reported.
Lead author Lawrence Finer, director of domestic research for the Guttmacher Institute, said in a press release that policymakers and the media very often sensationalize teenagers' sexual behavior, suggesting that pre-teens as young as 10 or 11 are increasingly sexually active.
He asserted that the data doesn't support that concern and on the contrary, teens are waiting longer to have sex, using contraceptives more frequently, and are less likely to become pregnant than their peers of past decades.
The number increases to 33 percent by the time youngsters reach 16, and 48 percent by the age of 17.
However, 61 percent and 71 percent of 18 and 19-year-olds respectively have had sex.
Researchers gathered information from the 2006 to 2010 National Survey of Family Growth, which surveyed American youth in the age range of 10 - 19.
The study has been published online in Pediatrics. (ANI)