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• Among females aged 15–17 who had ever had sex, those who reported concerns about confidentiality were one-third as likely to have received a contraceptive service in the previous year than those who did not have these concerns.
• Many young people fall through the information cracks.
• Both the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that adolescents’ primary care visits include time alone with health care providers to discuss sexuality and receive counseling about sexual behavior.
• Despite these recommendations, only 45% of young people aged 15–17 reported in 2013–2015 that they spent time alone with a doctor or other health care provider during their most recent visit in the previous year.
• Concerns about confidentiality limit access to sexual and reproductive health care, especially when young people rely on their parents’ health insurance.
In 2013–2015, 18% of all adolescents aged 15–17 and 12% of young adults aged 18–19 covered by their parents’ insurance reported that they would not seek sexual or reproductive health care because of concerns that their parents might find out.
For example, the share of rural adolescents who had received instruction about birth control declined from 71% to 48% among females, and from 59% to 45% among males.
• Only about half of adolescents (57% of females and 43% of males) received formal instruction about contraception before they first had sex; about four in ten (46% of females and 31% of males) received instruction about where to get birth control.
• Leading public health and medical professional organizations—including the American Medical Association; the American Academy of Pediatrics; the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; the American Public Health Association; the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine); the American School Health Association and the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine—support comprehensive sex education.• The share of adolescents aged 15–19 who had received formal instruction about how to say no to sex but had received no instruction about birth control methods increased between 2006–20–2013, from 22% to 26% among females and from 29% to 35% among males.• Declines in formal sex education were concentrated among young people residing in rural areas.• In 2011–2013, more than 80% of adolescents aged 15–19 had received formal instruction about STDs, HIV and AIDS or how to say no to sex.
In contrast, only 55% of young men and 60% of young women had received formal instruction about methods of birth control.• Between 2006–20–2013, there were significant declines in adolescent females’ reports of having received formal instruction about birth control, STDs, HIV and AIDs, and saying no to sex.