The Daily Mail is reporting that the study relied on data collected from the National Survey of Family Growth. Over the period of 2006-2010, 57 percent of teen girls age 15-19 reported that they had never had intercourse, which represents a marked increase from the 49 percent who were abstaining in 1995.
The decline in sexual activity can be found among all ethnic groups. Thirty-four percent of Africa-American teens reported never having sex along with 29 percent of Hispanics and 15 percent of whites.
"We know there have been declines in teen pregnancy, which is wonderful, and increases in abstinence among teens, which is really wonderful also," said Crystal Pirtle Tyler, who authored the report.
"Many teens still believe most of their peers are having sex, even though the data show that the majority aren't," she told WebMD. "That is why it is so important to get the message out that the majority of teens are not having sex."
The study may explain the drop in the U.S teen pregnancy rate, which has fallen 44 per cent since 1990 – its lowest level in seven decades. Even though the U.S. teen birth rate is still one of the highest among industrialized nations, it has been improving over the years.
The study also found increased use of contraceptives among sexually active teens. Almost 60 percent of teen girls who are having sex say they are using some form of birth control such as the Pill, patches, injections or intrauterine devices. This is up from 47 percent in 1995.
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