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Sexuality 504 - l Source Bibby(2004...

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Unformatted text preview: l Source: Bibby (2004), at: <www.vifamilyre/1tbrary/future/secfiongz.pd1>. Reprinted by permission of the Vanisr Institute of the Family. While attitudes seem to have liberalized, are young people today actually more sexually active than those in the recent past? Contrary to popular belief, the Sex Inforv mation and Education Council of Canada reports that for Grade 9 males, the percentage who reported sexual intercourse actually declined from 31 per cent in 1988 to 23 per cent in 2002 (McKay, 2004). Figure 17.2 simi— larly shows that the numbers have declined for Grade 9 girls as well. The trend of declining rates of early inter- course is mirrored in US data as well (ibid.). There are also decreases in the percentage of Grade 11 male and female students with multiple sexual partners (see Figure 17.3). Teenagers may Well be more cautious, knowing that HIV/AIDS (and other sexually transmitted diseases) disproportionately affect young people (ibid.). A 20—year study of sexual behaviour among students at Okanagan University College in British Columbia certainly sup— ports this, reporting a steady increase in safer sexual prac— tices among students (Netting and Burnett, 2004). Statistics Canada notes that 28 per cent of 15—17— year—olds reported having had sexual intercourse at least once, and by the ages of 204, 80 per cent had had sex- ual intercourse. One-third of 15—24—year-olds reported having had more than one sexual partner in the previous year) and 50 per cent of those who had sex with multi- ple partners in the past year had not used a condom the last time they had intercourse (Statistics Canada, 2005c). Having sex without a condom was more com: mon among older youth: 44 per cent of sexually active 20—4-yearrolds reported having sex without a condom compared to 35 per cent of those aged 18 and 19, and 22 per cent of those 15 to 17 (ibid.). Researchers speak late that those in older age groups are more likely to be in longereterm relationships and so perceive condom use as less necessary. Indeed, Netting and Burnett (2004) found that condom use tended to be low among monog- amous sexually active students. Studies of youth attitudes and practices in regard to sex in a world with HIV/AIDS tell interesting stories about how we think about and ‘do’ sex differently For example. a study of young people’s sexuality and risk—taking behav- iours in Thailand reveals that neither young men no: ...
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