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Teen pregnancies—defined as pregnancies in women under the age of 20, regardless of marital status—in the United States decreased 28% between 19, from 117 pregnancies per every 1,000 teens to 84 per 1,000.
Overall, 68 pregnancies occurred per 1,000 girls aged 15–19 in 2008.
Other reasons included a fear of sexually transmitted infections, a lack of desire, being afraid of getting caught, and the belief that sex was not appropriate for someone of their age.
Both adolescents who have never had sex and those who have chosen to become abstinent after engaging in sexual behaviors cite the negative consequences of sex as reasons why they choose not to have sex.
In 1999, a Kaiser Family Foundation study found that 95% of public secondary schools offered sex education programs.
More than half of the schools in the study followed a comprehensive approach that included information about both abstinence and contraception, while approximately one third of schools provided students with abstinence-only sex education.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the year 2007, 35% of US high school students were currently sexually active and 47.8% of US high school students reported having had sexual intercourse.
The Academy is concerned about the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases in sexually active teenagers and about the very high rate of teenage pregnancy in the United States compared to other developed countries.
Research into adolescents' sexual behavior in situations outside traditional dating situations, commonly referred to as "hooking up", shows that adolescents underestimate the risk involved in such situations.
Virginity is usually defined as the state of a person who has never engaged in sexual intercourse, although there are some gray areas.
For example, teenagers that engage in oral sex but not penile-vaginal sex may still identify themselves as virgins; this is sometimes termed technical virginity.
Additionally, 16% considered themselves virgins after anal sex.