Document Detail

Probabilities of intercourse and conception among U.S. teenage women, 1971 and 1976.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  477914     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
One in five U.S. females have had intercourse by age 16, and two-thirds, by age 19. Almost all the experience is premarital. One in 10 U.S. women get pregnant before age 17; one-quarter before they are 19, and eight in 10 of these pregnancies are premarital. More than one-third of those who are sexually active premaritally have a premarital pregnancy before they turn 19, one-quarter by the time they are 17.
To provide more precise measurement of sexual activity and conception among U.S. teenage women than previously available, life table probabilities of 1st intercourse and of 1st conception at each age based on retrospective data collected in 2 national surveys, 1971 and 1976, of women aged 15-19 are presented. Estimates reflect the combined experience of the 5 single-year-of-age cohorts included in the 1976 study and of the 5 cohorts included in the 1971 study. Including ever-married as well as never-married, there were 2193 interviews in 1976 and 4392 interviews in 1971; both involved oversampling of blacks. Probabilities of 1st intercourse and of 1st conception are based on single-decrement life tables while estimating the probabilities of 1st premarital intercourse and of 1st premarital conception involves a double-decrement procedure. All tables are according to race, white and black, and cumulative probabilities and the proportion of conception ending in live births are also revealed. Data presented here is consistent with results published earlier from the 2 surveys showing an increase in the proportion of young women ever having premarital intercourse, a seeming improvement in the regularity of contraceptive use, and an increase in the use of more effective methods of contraception. The earlier results, however, also show no change for whites in the rate of premarital conceptions among the sexually active, and only a small decline for blacks. Among possible explanations for undiminished pregnancy despite significant shifts to more regular and effective contraception are: 1) underreporting by whites in 1971 of pregnancies terminating in abortions; 2) changes in the proportion of those sexually active who had intercourse only once; and 3) changes in the frequency of intercourse. The data to test these and other possible explanations are not available. Clearly, however, more young women aged 15-19 in 1976 had premarital intercourse than comparable women in 1971 and the cumulative likelihood of premarital intercourse among 1976 respondents was higher than the cumulative likelihood of premarital and marital intercourse in 1971.
M Zelnik; Y J Kim; J F Kantner
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Family planning perspectives     Volume:  11     ISSN:  0014-7354     ISO Abbreviation:  Fam Plann Perspect     Publication Date:    1979 May-Jun
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1979-11-28     Completed Date:  1979-11-28     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0241370     Medline TA:  Fam Plann Perspect     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  177-83     Citation Subset:  IM; J    
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MeSH Terms
Actuarial Analysis
African Americans
European Continental Ancestry Group
Pregnancy in Adolescence*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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