[The CDC’s National Centers for Health Statistics]… tells us that teens who have not yet had sexual intercourse make up well over 50% of the teen population (57.6% of teen girls and 55.8% of teen boys), similar to the “levels seen in 2002 and 2006-2010.”
In terms of overall trends… the percentage of teen girls “who had ever had sexual intercourse” fell from 51.1% in 1988 to 42.4% in the most recent survey, and for boys it declined from 60.4% to 44.2%….
… The most common reason [for abstinence] cited by [non-sexually active] girls was “against religion and morals” (35.4%), followed by “haven’t found the right person yet” (21.9%), while for boys, the two most common reasons were “haven’t found the right person yet” (28.5%) and “against religion and morals” (27.9%)….
The structure of a teens’ family life is also linked to their sexual debut. For both male and female teenagers in the survey, a significantly lower percentage were sexually experienced if they lived with both biological or adoptive parents when they were 14….
The bottom line is that parents still wield the most influence over teen sexual decision-making, and ideally, parents should be the primary resource for schooling young people on the ins and outs of sexual behavior, the best time to have sex, and how to form lasting relationships.
~ Alysse ElHage, Institute for Family Studies, July 13, 2017