Think teen culture in America is just about hanging out with friends, movies and fun? While they are not representative of every teenager, they do point to what goes on in American teen culture.
Statistics on Teen Sex
-Nationally, more than half of teenagers are virgins until they are at least 17 years of age (Sex and America's Teenagers, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, New York, 1994).
-In the U.S., 7 in 10 women who had sex before age 14, and 6 in 10 of those who had sex before age 15 report having had sex involuntarily. (Facts in Brief: Teen Sex and Pregnancy, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, New York, 1996).
-Nationally, one-quarter of 15 year old females and less than 30% of 15 year old males have had sex, compared with 66% of 18 year old females, and 68% of 18 year old males who have had sexual intercourse. (A Statistical Portrait of Adolescent Sex, Contraception, and Childbearing, National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Washington, DC, 1998).
Statistics on Teen pregnancy
-Nationally, nearly one million young women under age 20 become pregnant each year. That means close to 2800 teens get pregnant each day.( Facts in Brief: Teen Sex and Pregnancy, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, New York, 1996).
-Approximately 4 in 10 young women in the U.S. become pregnant at least once before turning 20 years old.( Facts in Brief: Teen Sex and Pregnancy, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, New York, 1996).
-Teen childbearing alone costs U.S. taxpayers nearly $7 billion annually for social services and lost tax revenues. (Kids Having Kids: Economic Costs and Social Consequences of Teen Pregnancy, Prebecca Maynard (ed.), The Urban Institute, Washington, DC, 1997).
Statistics on Rape in Teen:
-Teens 16 to 19 were three and one-half times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault. (National Crime Victimization Survey. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, 1996.)
-According to the Justice Department, one in two rape victims is under age 18; one in six is under age 12. [Child Rape Victims, 1992. U.S. Department of Justice.]
-While 9 out of 10 rape victims are women, men and boys are also victimized by this crime. In 1995, 32,130 males age 12 and older were victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault. [National Crime Victimization Survey. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, 1996.]
Sexually Transmitted Diseases Among Teens
-In the U.S., 1 in 4 sexually active teens become infected with an STD every year.2 Some common STDs are chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital warts (also known as HPV - human papillomavirus), and herpes. (Facts in Brief: Teen Sex and Pregnancy, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, New York, 1996).
Teens are victims of violence, murder and crime
In 1998, the young, blacks, and males were most vulnerable to violent crime:
-- 1 in 12 persons age 12 to 15, compared to 1 in 357 age 65 or more
-- 1 in 24 blacks, compared to 1 in 28 whites
-- 1 in 23 males, compared to 1 in 33 females
(Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice)
-Teenagers and young adults were more likely to become victims of violent crime than older persons. In 1998, about a third of all victims of violent crime were ages 12 to 19 and almost half of all victims of violence were under age 25. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice)
-The percent of students reporting street gang presence at school nearly doubled between 1989 and 1995, increasing from 15.3% to 28.4%. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice)
-Homicide is the second leading cause of death for persons 15-24 years of age and is the leading cause of death for African-American and Hispanic youths in this age-group (Anderson RN, Kochanek KD, Murphy SL. Report of final mortality statistics, 1995. Monthly vital statistics report 45, 11(2 Suppl) 1997).
-In 1996, 6,548 young people 15-24 years old were victims of homicide. This amounts to an average of 18 youth homicide victims per day in the U.S. ( National Summary of Injury Mortality Data, 1988-1996. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, November, 1998 (Unpublished)).
Statistics on Teen Smoking
-Approximately 80% of adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18. Every day, nearly 3,000 young people under the age of 18 become regular smokers.
More than 5 million children living today will die prematurely because of a decision they will make as adolescents---the decision to smoke cigarettes. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
-An estimated 2.1 million people began smoking on a daily basis in 1997. More than half of these new daily smokers were younger than age 18. This translates to more than 3,000 new youth smokers per day. The rate of youth initiation of daily smoking increased somewhat from 55.5 to 74.9 per 1,000 potential new users between 1991 and 1996, but remained level in 1997(the 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse)
-Nearly all first use of tobacco occurs before high school graduation.
-Most young people who smoke are addicted to nicotine and report that they want to quit but are unable to do so.
-Tobacco is often the first drug used by young people who use alcohol and illegal drugs.
-Among young people, those with poorer grades and lower self-images are most likely to begin using tobacco.
-Over the past decade, there has been virtually no decline in smoking rates among all teens. Among black adolescents, however, the prevalence of smoking has declined dramatically.
-Young people who come from a low-income family and have fewer than two adults living in their household are especially at risk for becoming smokers.
(Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People, U.S. Surgeon General Report, 1994)
Statistics on Drugs among Teens
-There were an estimated 708,000 new inhalant users in 1997, up from 332,000 in 1989. The rate of first use among youths age 12-17 rose significantly from 1989 to 1995, from 8.4 to 18.8 per 1,000 potential new users, and remained level after that. For young adults age 18-25, there was an increase in the rate of first use between 1989 and 1996 (from 3.7 to 10.7 per 1,000 potential new users) and a leveling off in 1997 (9.2 per 1,000 potential new users). (The 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse)
-More than half (56 percent) of youths age 12-17 reported that marijuana was easy to obtain in 1998. This is an increase from 1992, when 51 percent reported that marijuana was easy to obtain. (The 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse)
-The percent of the population reporting that they had been approached by someone selling drugs in the past month decreased from 9.2 percent in 1992 to 6.1 percent in 1998. However, among youths age 12-17 years, the percent was 13.7 percent in 1998, similar to the percentage in 1992 (13.4 percent). (The 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse)
Statistics on Alcohol among Teens
-More than 40% of teens who admitted drinking said they drink when they are upset; 31% said they drink alone; 25% said they drink when they are bored; and 25% said they drink to "get high." (U.S. Surgeon General, 1991)
-Each year, students spend $5.5 billion on alcohol, more than they spend on soft drinks, tea, milk, juice, coffee or books combined. On a typical campus, per capita students spending for alcohol--$446 per student--far exceeds the per capita budget of the college library. (Eigen, 1991 in the 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse).
-Nearly one-third of college students surveyed said they wished alcohol was not available at campus events, and nearly 90% wished that other drugs would disappear from campuses. (Core Institute, 1993)
-Approximately 240,000 to 360,000 of the nation's 12 million current undergraduates will ultimately die from alcohol-related causes--more than the number that will get MAs and PhDs combined. (Eigen, 1991 in the 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse)
-Sixty percent of college women diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease were drunk at the time of infection. (Advocacy Institute, 1992)
Statistics on Drinking and Driving Among Teens
-Eight young people a day die in alcohol-related crashes. (CSAP, 1996) (Mothers Against Drunk Driving website)
Statistics on Teens and Television
-Percentage of teenagers 13-17 who can name the city where the US Constitution was written (Philadelphia): 25. Percentage of teenagers 13-17 who know where you find the zip code 90210 (Beverly Hills): 75 ( Survey conducted by the National Constitution Center (NCC), Philadelphia, 1998. )
-Percentage of children ages 5-17 who have a TV in their bedroom: 52 (BJK&E Media report, The New York Times, December 30, 1997. )
-Hours per day that TV is on in an average US home: 7 hours, 12 minutes (BJK&E Media report, The New York Times, December 30, 1997.
-Number of minutes per week that parents spend in meaningful conversation with their children: 38.5 (American Family Research Council, "Parents Fight ‘Time Famine' as Economic Pressures Increase," 1990.)
Statistics on Dropouts
-In 1997, the dropout rate for students ages 16 to 24 was 11 percent, indicating a slight decrease from the 1990 figure. The dropout rate for white students is lower than the rates for Hispanic and black students. For example, in 1997, the dropout rate for white, non-Hispanic students was 8 percent, 13 percent for black students and 25 percent for Hispanic students. (National Center for Education Statistics, U. S. Department of Education, Digest of Education Statistics, 1998, Table 105, page 124).