More boys in the United States are having sex before they turn 13, new research suggests. Authorities state that these results are alarming, thereby urging parents to be aware of it.
The new study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics on April 8 shows that nearly one in 13 adolescent males engages in intercourse before turning 13. It's a higher percentage compared to the statistics in recent years.
The percentage varies from where they live though. Statistics in San Francisco show that only 5 percent of the boys in this city have sex before they turn 13, but the number jumped to 25 percent in Memphis.
Because of this, the researchers are suggesting that parents and other concerned bodies should initiate "The Talk" with young boys as early as possible. The talk will make them aware of all the risks connected with having sex.
Improvements In Sex Education
Alongside the study published in JAMA Pediatrics, an editorial was also published by Samantha Garbers, an associate professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and Dr. David Bell, a pediatrician and assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
Together, they are pushing for more sexual education among the younger generation, as well as a sort of screening for sexual activity in today's youth.
"Any messaging, whether from clinicians or schools or parents, must recognize pressures that 'manhood is something that boys must make happen, by passing certain social milestones,' such as having sex. It is critical to engage young men in self-reflection about the real pressures US society places on them that affect their overall health and well-being," said Bell and Garbers.
Ethnicity And Race
According to the study, race and ethnicity are huge factors in the earlier sexual experience of young American males. Based on two national surveys, black males are most likely to engage in sexual intercourse before they reach the age of 13, with Hispanic males in the second place.
Whether or not the parents of the child are college degree holders also makes a huge impact on their decision to have an early sexual experience. According to the study, children with educated parents are less likely to engage in sex before the age of 13.
According to Bell, the ethnic, geographical, and racial differences seen in the study doesn't matter. All young individuals must be more aware of the implications of having sex in their early years.
Awareness should start in the household and schools. According to Garbers and Bell, if parents have a hard time talking to their children about this kind of topic, then a child's pediatrician should step up.