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Waiting to Consent


Listen to the NPR segment, “When Your Wedding Night Is Your First Time.”











In your discussion cohort, respectfully talk about the following issues:

•There is a lot of focus on age of sexual debut, or age of first sexual intercourse. Do you think it’s important to wait to consent to sex? How long should people wait? Explain your rationale. 


•What do you think about focusing on intercourse as the measure of sexual debut? Does this focus build in certain assumptions — or presuppositions — about sexual activity? What does this definition of virginity overlook or ignore in regard to sexual activity?


•Do you think it’s important to wait until marriage to have sex? Why or why not? Where do these messages come from?


Sex Recession: Why Isn't Everyone Doing It?

•Between 2015 and 2017, 42% of teen girls aged 15 to 19 and 38% of teen boys had had sexual intercourse.


•Among male teenagers, the percentage who had ever had sexual intercourse declined by 17% between 2002 (46%) and 2015–2017 (38%). A significant decrease in the percentage of male teenagers who had ever had sexual intercourse was seen between 2011–2015 (44%) and 2015–2017 (38%).


•From 2015 to 2017, 78% of females and 89% of males aged 15 to 24 who had their first sexual intercourse before age 20 used a contraceptive method at first sexual intercourse. Condoms are the most commonly used contraceptive method.


•By age 15, 21% of young females and 20% of young males aged 15 to 24 had ever had sexual intercourse. By age 17, this increased to 53% of young females and 48% of young males. By age 20, 79% of young females and 77% of young males had ever had sexual intercourse. 


•Between 1988 and 2017, the percentage of teenagers who have had sexual intercourse declined.

Source: Centers for Disease Control

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