ABC News’ Alicia Tarancon reports:
Condom use among males aged 15 to 19 in the United States has increased significantly over the last eight years, according to
a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study found that since 2002 about 85 percent of males used condoms the first time they were sexually active, a 9 percentage point increase. In addition, the rate of teen males using condoms along with at least one additional contraceptive approach has risen 6 percent per year since 2002. As of 2010, 80 percent of males were using condoms with another form of birth control with their partners.
Condoms still remain the number one choice of contraceptives among males. Not only are condoms cheaper for teens but “they protect simultaneously from pregnancy and STDs, they’re easy to use, and pairing condoms with more effective methods of birth control — when people do both of those things they are really doing a tremendous help in protecting themselves,” said Leslie Kantor, vice president of education at Planned Parenthood.
Of course, condoms help prevent unwanted pregnancies as well as STDs. Popular reality shows like MTV’s “Teen Mom” portray young teenage couples dealing with the consequences of having unprotected sex. Young unprepared mothers are shown trying to make a living while raising their babies.
As the “Teen Mom” show illustrates, the younger the teenager it, the higher chances they’ll engage in unprotected sex. Older teens tend to fare better; according to the report, nearly 93 percent of teens aged 17 to 19 use condoms as opposed to only 73 percent of teens 14 and younger.
“In the short term, things are stable; the percent of sexually active males and females has not changed,” Gladys Martinez, a statistician at CDC and lead author of this study said. But, as this report shows, teen males are taking more precautions against pregnancy, childbearing and STDs.