For parents uncomfortable with the idea of wondering -- let alone asking -- about their teenager’s sexual habits, researchers have stepped in. A 24-country study of 34,000 adolescents revealed that anywhere from 14 to 38 percent of 15 year olds have had sex. The numbers varied from country to country, as did the teens’ proclivity to use contraception. While only 53 percent of Swedish teens reported condom use, 82 percent of all sexually active subjects reported that they protect themselves with condoms and/or birth control pills. One Columbia University researcher noted to Reuters that pregnancy rates were lowest in countries like the Netherlands that strongly accept teenage contraceptive use and "are insuring adolescent access to contraception and sex education." And, in that ever-persisting conundrum of men and women’s reported sexual partner numbers not adding up, previously discussed in this Dish, more male than female subjects reported having had intercourse. Boys will be boys.
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