|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
Experts worry nation's on brink of teen sex surge
WASHINGTON -- The long decline in sexual activity among U.S. teenagers, hailed as one of the nation's most important social and public health successes, appears to have stalled.
After decreasing steadily and significantly for more than a decade, the percentage of teenagers having intercourse began to plateau in 2001 and has failed to budge since then, despite the intensified focus in recent years on encouraging sexual abstinence, according to a new analysis of data from a large federal survey.
The halt in the downward trend coincided with an increase in federal spending on programs focused exclusively on encouraging sexual abstinence until marriage, several experts pointed out. Congress is debating funding for such efforts, which receive about $175 million a year in federal money and have come under fire from some quarters for being ineffective.
But abstinence proponents argue that, if anything, the data underscore the need for greater emphasis on encouraging youngsters to abstain from sex until marriage.
"We need to increase abstinence education and give more dollars to abstinence education. It is the healthiest program we have for young people," said Leslee Unruh of the National Abstinence Clearinghouse.