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Study: Girls Take More Chances During First Sex

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cnn: Even though teenage boys are known for their risky behavior, it's girls who are more likely to engage in unprotected first sex, according to research presented Monday at an American Public Health Association meeting in Denver.
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Nicole Weller, a doctoral student at Arizona State University, analyzed government data and found adolescent girls were 30 percent more likely than boys to have sex without contraception during their first sexual encounter. Weller said that surprised her. "It does because of the history of boys engaging in risky behavior across the spectrum and then seeing that females are having first unprotected sex is telling a different story," Weller said. For example, teenage boys are more likely than girls to drink and smoke. But Laura Lindberg, senior research associate at the Guttmacher Institute, said boys may still have a lot to do with it. She said teenage girls are less likely than boys to want to have sex when it happens for the first time and may not do as good a job advocating for birth control. Lindberg added that contraception at first sex is 80 percent condoms, meaning birth control largely depends on the boy. In the research presented Monday, sexual education at school did not affect use of contraceptives during an adolescent's first sexual encounter even though more than 80 percent of adolescents receive some type of sex ed, Weller said. Nor did it matter what type they received. Weller broke down sexual education into abstinence-only, birth control methods, and information about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The study looked at data from 5,012 boys and girls aged 11 to 19 from the National Survey on Family Growth who reported any sexual activity. The average age of first sex in that group was 16 for both boys and girls. For complete story, go to: cnn

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