(WASHINGTON) — Judging by the content of today’s TV shows, you would think every teenager is having sex.
That’s a fallacy, according to the latest study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which looked at the habits of females ages 15 to 19 over a five-year span ending in 2010.
The CDC reports that 43 percent admitted to having sex—down from 51 percent in 1995.
This increase in abstinence and the fact that sexually active teenage girls are using more effective forms of birth control account for the pregnancy rate dropping to 34 births for every 1,000 females—a decrease of 44 percent from the 1990’s.
Overall, 368,000 infants were born to teen mothers in 2010, the CDC reports.
Study author Crystal Pirtle Tyler says, “We know there have been declines in teen pregnancy, which is wonderful, and increases in abstinence among teens, which is really wonderful also. There have also been increases in contraceptive use.” Those contraceptives include the pill and the patch.
Tyler adds that the number of teenage girls having sex would fall further if doctors spoke more openly with their patients about putting it off until they got older.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio