Study:25 percent low-income kids having sex; average age 12

A new study of 1,000 low-income families in three major U.S. cities found that one in four children between the ages of 11 and 16 reported having sex, with their first sexual intercourse experience occurring at the average age of 12.77.

The Iowa State University news services reports:

” ‘So if 12 years was the average age here, that meant that some kids were starting at 10 or younger,’ said Brenda Lohman, an Iowa State University associate professor of human development and family studies (HDFS). ‘A handful of kids reported having sex as early as 8 or 9. We know from our follow-up interviews that one boy who reported having sexual intercourse for the first time at age nine had fathered four children by the time he was 18.’

“In the study, boys reported their first sexual intercourse at younger ages (averaging 12.48) than girls (13.16). Boys also had nearly 10 percent higher frequency of intercourse than girls.”

“Recent national research has found that 13 percent of girls and 15 percent of boys have had sex by the time they’re 16. Lohman says that means the rate of sex among her low-income sample is only slightly higher among the girls, but almost double among the boys.”

“African Americans also had 12 percent more early sexual intercourse than whites (29 to 17 percent respectively), although racial differences did not change the age of their first intercourse.”

The study found kids were more likely to have sex if: they committed juvenile crimes, were out past curfew, and had instability at home.

“They found that additional maternal education — beyond a high school level — was found to inhibit some of that activity.”

” ‘That can be for multiple reasons,’ Lohman said. ‘It can be that mothers have better paying jobs and more stable home environment and they’re less likely to be in stressful circumstances. It could also be that mothers then have greater cognitive capacities to sort of sit down and discuss the pros and cons of waiting to have sex until you’re older.’ “

The researchers are suggesting programs be set up to help mothers prevent early promiscuity.

The researchers believe schools start their abstinence programs too late.

One of the researchers said that she was shocked by the ages they were finding, and rightly so. I can’t imagine a child at 9, 10 or even 12 being the least bit prepared to have sex.

What do think of these numbers? What do think of this study? What can be done to help stop children, literally children, from having sex?

132 comments Add your comment

anonymous coward

August 19th, 2009
10:19 am

Oh….my….god. 6 more months in this hell hole and then I can leave all you idiots behind. It can’t come soon enough.

Todd

August 19th, 2009
10:22 am

The problem with your stats Get Real People is that Blacks are only 12 percent of the population but 37 percent of the welfare population. Whites are 60 percent of the population but only 38 percent of the welfare population. Welfare is to blame for much of this peoblem. I’m not blaming blacks. I think they are victims of welfare. Unfortunatly have been talked into believing that the Dem. are working for them by providing more welfare. When in reality they are keeping them poor and uneducated.

Look who's at the top of the list

August 19th, 2009
10:24 am

Here are the statistics on welfare recipients:
Traits of families on AFDC (1)

Race
————–
White 38.8%
Black 37.2
Hispanic 17.8
Asian 2.8
Other 3.4

Time on AFDC
—————————
Less than 7 months 19.0%
7 to 12 months 15.2
One to two years 19.3
Two to five years 26.9
Over five years 19.6

Number of children
——————-
One 43.2%
Two 30.7
Three 15.8
Four or more 10.3

Age of Mother
——————
Teenager 7.6%
20 – 29 47.9
30 – 39 32.7
40 or older 11.8

savannah

August 19th, 2009
10:26 am

keep em in the houseeeee

White Guy

August 19th, 2009
10:30 am

I agree with Stell Simonton. If most of the uneducated people (I did say people, not thugs, gangsters, or blacks) would take the time to comprehend what they are reading, we wouldn’t get so many ignorant comments. GOTTA LOVE THE SOUTH!!! Read the article again.

The quotation pulled from the report — and the report itself — is misleading. According to the report, only one-fourth of the low-income kids had sex before the age of 16. Of that one-fourth, the average age was 12. The report does NOT say that the average age of sex for low-income kids is 12, but that’s what a lot of people are going to take away from this. In fact, the headline could equally say: Most low-income kids don’t have sex until 16 or later.

OneChris

August 19th, 2009
10:30 am

Low Self Esteem = Gateway to many things such as sex, drugs, etc.
The saying is true that is does take a village to raise a child.
The solution is for everyone to be involved in a child’s day to day so as to spark their interest in other things such as sports, crafts, youth groups at church or civic groups, etc.
Children need to feel it is also acceptable to be a virgin. Society at present mocks the virgin.

Shonuff

August 19th, 2009
10:30 am

This is not just happening. I am 35 years old and this was going on when I was same age. I remember the conversation and the more experienced girls coming on to the boys. I grew up in a single parent home without my father and my mother made sure I knew right from wrong. I made some bad choices and I knew what was going to happen to me for making the choice that I did. Some parents, not all, treat there kids as their peers and not their children. This is a REAL problem. You can be your childs friend and a parent. But there is a difference between peers and friends.

A blind eye has just been turned to the fact and now it is coming out. It would not suprise me if the statistics were even higher than what they are.

RollerGirl

August 19th, 2009
10:31 am

Trash begets Trash. Low income people are low income people because of the lifestyle choices they make and the cultures they embrace.

SD

August 19th, 2009
10:32 am

Children are definately a product of the enviornment. If they are not getting the love and attention at home they are going to find it somewhere. If they see and hear about child support and welfare money they are going to live for that monthly check as well. Ignorant parents teach of this behavior. The welfare, medicaid/peachcare, section 8 housing, and child support systems need to be looked at in our government. There should be a set amount that it takes to raise a child, and that amount should be split equally between the parents. Child support should not be based off income. All children should be treated equal. Why should one father pay $1500.00 per month and another father only pay $200.00? Children learn of this and gives them the desire like free money. The more children the more income and no work is required. I had my first child at 16 and am very successful in life and received $148.00 per month in child support, I have worked my behind off to support my family. I was adventurous because I was lacking attention at home.My parents were afraid to talk about sex, afraid that would be to informative. They were wrong!! My son is very respectful of what I have done for him and knows importance of working hard and right from wrong. Our government is paving this pathway for our children, blame it on the parents and most importantly the government!!

:/

August 19th, 2009
10:36 am

When our forefathers came here, we were a white race. Now we have a diverse culture. But mainly here at my school, we have blacks and hispanics failing left and right and white people trying to make something of their lives. So my qq is, why can’t the immigrants who travel here go back to their homeland to produce their babies. This is the downfall of our society as of today. We support the low-lifes who came here for jobs but did nothing, but produce babies.

Amber

August 19th, 2009
10:37 am

While disparities do exist among race and socio-economic status, that is not the point. Let’s learn something from this. This is not the only study to yield these results, and many children are having sex this early. Let’s teach values and education, but please don’t turn a blind eye.

I knew kids (male and female) that were having sex at 13 when I was in school. Not that the following things matter, but to make a point–my parents are highly educated and hold white collar jobs that provided for a strong school system in a suburban neighborhood. I participated in religious activities and sports growing up. Based on the comments of many posters, one would not think children in the environment described above would experiment sexually. I’m glad that number was not 8 or 9 years old when I was in school, but 13 isn’t great either. I just think that we need to open our eyes, though it is alarming. Refuting the study or solely attributing it to demographics isn’t wise if we want to turn this around.

Andy in Blairsville

August 19th, 2009
10:39 am

More proof only stupid people are breeding.

Dan

August 19th, 2009
10:40 am

Get real – you are correct those are well known or should be well known. The issue of course is not the absolute percentage on welfare but the fact that a population segments that comprise about 74%,13%,14%, and 4% of the entire population (in the order you listed above) comprise 39%,38%,17%, 3% of the welfare population respectively. So you are correct that there are a number of ignorant racist comments on the board, the numbers are pretty compelling that the culture of respobsibility (or lack thereof in the communities) have significant impacts

motherjanegoose

August 19th, 2009
10:41 am

@ HB…thanks for meeting me half way

Everyone else…who then would agree with my statement :

I do not make any assumptions until I see how the parent reacts, as kids will always be kids. This gives me tremendous insight into who is lacking in the common sense arena.

Based on some of the stories that have been shared…this one in particular :

One of my parents is a waitress at a local restaurant and when I saw her this summer at the restaurant, she informed me that her daughter became a woman this summer “in both ways”. It was like she was actually proud of the fact that her 13 year old daughter had been having sex. This, IMO, is the saddest part.

I would say that the reactions or lack of actions of MANY parents today are not near enough to common sense…do I have an amen?

Yolanda

August 19th, 2009
10:43 am

Come on people. This is just another biased study used to down grade black people. These studies are conducted in in poor neighborhoods. All black people are not poor. All black people do not live below the poverty line. All black people are having children out of wedlock. All black are not on welfare living on section 8. There are educated black people. No one has never contacted me or anyone I know for our input. Black people I live around are not engaging in these activities. Let be honest here, all children are starting to have sex earlier regardless of their life at home. We have seen and hear many stories about wealthy white children having annal and oral sex to maintain their “virginity”. They are doing to be cool in school and get things from the opposite sex. Let keep it real and lay everything on the table. These studies are bogus, they are not worth the paper they are written on. There are good and bad in every race and culture.

not a parent but still concerned

August 19th, 2009
10:44 am

This report should be titled in a more positive note. 3 out of every 4 low income children, wait to have sex! Lets get some more positive news here people. It’s a scare tactic!

Yolanda

August 19th, 2009
10:45 am

THERE ARE BLACK PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT HAVING CHILREN OUT OF WEDLOCK!!!!!THERE ARE BLACK PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT ON WELFARE AND SECTION 8.

RKS

August 19th, 2009
10:46 am

The more kids they push out, the more welfare they get. Why not start at 12? 4 or 5 kids by the time they’re 20 equates to a good chunck of change. That’s the way liberals set up the system, so why get an education and spend 8 or 10 hours at work when you can get free taxpayer money to stay home?

Denise

August 19th, 2009
10:46 am

I’m getting rather ticked off at the whole Black people = thugs mentality of some of the folks commenting on this blog. Thank you for showing how much progress our people(as in Americans) have made. [/sarcasm/]. It shows ignorance; “stupid people shouldn’t breed”, right?

I went to elementary and middle school in through 1985 at a Catholic school in a very country town in MS. I was the only Black student in my 5th and 6th grade classes (not in the whole grades). In the 5th grade the White kids started having “kissing parties” where you had to have a date to make out with. I will never forget a girl telling me that her boyfriend wanted her to wear a dress with no panties to the party. IN THE 5TH GRADE! I went to a co-ed slumber party in the 7th grade and I could have been scarred for life with the things my sheltered ears heard that weekend. In other words, I heard more about sexual contact, even oral sex, at a young age from my White classmates. Were their parents deadbeats? No. Were they from single-parent homes? No. Were they poor? No. Were they neglected? No. They were curious and adventurous so they found a way to get it in. Just like the kids do today.

Brian

August 19th, 2009
10:46 am

NOTE: THIS IS ABOUT MATH NOT RACE:

This study is scary due to the faulty math.

12 percent more early sexual intercourse than whites (29 to 17 percent respectively)

29 is 70.6% more than 17 (29-17=12then/17=70.6%) 12% more than 17 is approx 19. It is scary that the person doing this study used such faulty conclusions.

Mari-mom

August 19th, 2009
10:47 am

“The researchers are suggesting programs be set up to help mothers prevent early promiscuity.” HMMM I think this statement says alot! Why is this perceived as solely the mother’s responsibility?

Mara

August 19th, 2009
10:48 am

Stell, good point about the headline. But I doubt “75% of Low Income Youths Are Not Having Sex” would sell papers the way under-age sex does.

The researchers believe schools start their abstinence programs too late.

‘abstinence programs’? Maybe that explains it! If the researchers took their pool from ‘abstinance only’ schools, they shouldn’t be surprised. Study after study has shown that ab-only programs do not work. The best programs seem to be fact-based ‘astinence plus’.

As for starting ANY sex ed at a younger age…never happen. We’ve far too many repressed churchies fooling themselves that if their kid doesn’t hear about s-e-x from a knowlegable adult, they won’t hear about it from anybody.

REG artjazz54

August 19th, 2009
10:49 am

As always-racist whites get it wrong and then they excuse themselves from the very same behaviors, or worst. To Photius & Jesse’s Girl, remember, white males raped black women and children as early as 6,7,8, 10, and 12 years through out slavery, and right up to the Jim-Crow era. Also, remember, Thomas Jefferson started raping Sally Hennings at 10 or 12 years olds, and you called it a Love Story; how is it possible for a slave to have an opinion or choice on love, when she had no humanly rights, or human emotions, according to you white folks. And please don’t forget, white males in the slave society, had a right of passage to rape black people at an early age, to assert his, so called, Man Hood. The white men and boys raped their black sister, and brothers, and then in a few years, would turn-around and rape his own daughter, then granddaughter, and then great granddaughter. This was done either as Master – Slave relationship, and/or forced Concubinage, or just by plan terror. Since the sixties, the white man has raped his own women, including serial killings, mass-murders, pedophilia and molestation. Benjamin Franklin (Statesman, Inventor), as well as Thomas Woolman (Abolitionist), on their travels through the South, referred to whites in the South as, White Savages, and you remain the same today. Have any of you white people been watching the local and National News lately, everyday in Georgia and everyday nationally, some white male coach, teacher, or other person in authority, including priest and ministers are charged with sex crimes against children, in many cases, its their own children. How is it possible, that any white person would have the b … to critize black people? Don’t forget about the Herpes epidemic underway in Southern California among young white celebrities, especially young white females. Also, lest not forget about white female teachers and others in authority in our schools and daycare centers, and their sexual attacks on school children at an unprecedented rate. The white mans’ sub human behaviors toward blacks and other humans in the last four or five centuries as been abomination before God, and he needs to keep his Fu…. g, mouth shut before an international tribunal began hearings on the atrocities inflicted upon blacks and Native Americans in the history of this BS Nation.

iancu wagner

August 19th, 2009
10:49 am

what do you expect? all theis generation sees on TV is violence and sex. and all have happy ending, that’s where the problem starts. in real life very few have happy ending so why not portrai that in those shows. it is the holywood who preaches promiscuity and violence, it’s all y can see: teens with problems, teens with atitute bad mputhing parents. It never occured to me until I was 12-13 to say NO to my parents. look the way they are dressed! Get inoforms on them and stop showing show with rebelious teen, they are role models.

love

August 19th, 2009
10:50 am

simple answer…for these kids sex equals love…the lack and or time of it at the home front…and although I believe many are low income, the high “fake joneses” has it just as much..mommy to worried about botox and tennis or the 60 hour workweek and daddy “busy” at the office or other places….leaves very little time for the attention these kids need.

JDG

August 19th, 2009
10:51 am

Ahh, the latest moral panic. Hits all the buttons that are likely to get the peasantry all worked up: sex, teenagers, and poor people.

Also, it’s worth pointing out: humans, in general, like sex. And have for a very, very long time. So the notion that it occurs outside of the times or situations that “other people” (moral scolds, busybodies, the hyper-religious) believe it should be sanctioned is not surprising.

1eyedJack

August 19th, 2009
10:53 am

Race
————–
White 38.8%
Black 37.2
Hispanic 17.8
Asian 2.8
Other 3.4

Ok agreed that whites make up the largest percent of people on welfare, but whites also make up the largest percent of the population. When you compare the numbers of each racial group compared to their overall percent of the population then you can determine that yes indeed a larger percentage of black and hispanic people are on welfare that any other racial group.

When Bill Cosby comes out against this or any other topic critical of the black community he is denigrated as an “Uncle Tom”.

I am a college instructor at a mostly black college and one of my job functions is to find jobs for recent graduates. More times than not black students will turn down an entry-level job offer because they currently receive more money and benefits from welfare and other government subsidies.

The Truth

August 19th, 2009
10:53 am

Good Point White Guy:

The article does say that for one fourth of low income children the average age for sexual activity is 12.77.

Truth

August 19th, 2009
10:55 am

African American communities need to focus on their families. Enough of trying to lead the glamorous life, men need to be part of their children’s lives. Until there is a fundamental change in the way black men see the role they need to play in the lives of children, there will be no change. Crime will continue to grow, prison populations will swell, and poor neighborhoods will stay that way. Bill Cosby gets marginilized because he speaks a truth black people don’t want to hear. Fix your communities. I submit to you the biggest barrier of race in this country is crime. White americas contempt for black crime and the roots for it.

ATL4Real

August 19th, 2009
10:57 am

there is no effective way to stop poor and stupid people from doing stupid things

wae

August 19th, 2009
10:58 am

Why not have a system that educates these kids at an early age, emphasizing family values, less dependency on the government, and then reward the families who have the number of kids that they can afford. Free birthcontrol would also help, and STOP REWARDING FAMILIES WHO CONTINUE TO MULTIPLY, REWARD THE FAMILIES WHO KEEP THEIR FAMILY SIZE AT THE SAME LEVEL WHEN THEY WERE GRANTED ASSISTANCE. The system is broken, why not fix it, no one wants to address the problem. No wonder we are taxed to death.

motherjanegoose

August 19th, 2009
11:01 am

For the record…I have friends of all races/ religions and when I agree that ignorant people are breeding like rabbits, I am speaking of ALL races. There are stupid people too in every racial and even religious group.

Angie

August 19th, 2009
11:01 am

I think it all comes down to children needing a mom AND a dad. Even if parents get divorced, both parents should be involved in raising the children. I think men in general need to teach their sons to be men. No matter how good of a mom you are, you cannot teach your son to be a man. It seems that children of single mothers tend become single mothers themselves. If a childhood without a dad is all they know, then how can they learn what it takes to properly raise a child?
Men/Boys need to step up to the plate and take responsibility. A guy can just pick up and leave the girl he got pregnant. It is up to her to raise the child. Girls need to be more responsible as well. They can say no! Being the mother of two girls, I am worried about them and their future.

Black guy

August 19th, 2009
11:05 am

Very good point White Guy. The article could even say “75% of low-income children do not have sex until 16 or later.” But it’s written in such a manner that few would even catch that fact.

AndyW

August 19th, 2009
11:05 am

Obviously disturbing information here, but I can’t help but to think that the results, especially for the boys, are fatally flawed. Boys will never be truthful if you ask them when they first had sex (and how often they have it). I’m sure the researchers attempted to compensate for this, but if you ask teenage boys about their sexual experiences – nearly every one of them will exaggerate or flat out lie (as a way of bragging).

motherjanegoose

August 19th, 2009
11:10 am

Also, I wonder why we cannot have birth control implants ( the kind that can be removed) .
When a mother has 2 children and no means of supporting them either now or in the future, she gets the implant IF she wants to rely on government assistance. If she can get job training ( once they are in pre-school or a free daycare attached to job training centers ) and support her own children, she can get the implant removed.

We all make choices. I have two children I can afford. I pay my bills and live in a neighborhood with association rules. If I do not want to abide by the rules, I move to a different neighborhood. I cannot paint my house any color I want in this neighborhood. I cannot even choose a different mailbox but since I want to live here and have done so for nearly 12 years…I abide by the rules.

If you do not want the birth control implant ( what is it called?) you do not get the government assistance…we respect your choice and will not force you to have it. OH you also will not get to jump on board to accept whatever health insurance they vote in either, unless you have the implant.

BTW this could reduce the number of uninsured children ( not yet born) who will then need the FREE insurance voted in by our dear friends….hahaha!

Alicia

August 19th, 2009
11:11 am

Why does EVERYTHING have to be about RACE!!!!???? This is about CHILDREN!!!!!!!

Blind yourself to the color….our children are loosing their innocence….among all races!!!!!!

Photius

August 19th, 2009
11:12 am

I don’t care for the comments on blacks. Example: South Georgia white people red necks who for generation after generation pop ‘em out young, no motivation, no drive, no education and no opportunity. The all drive around in late model American cars which are dirty, have some body damage to them. These rednecks are not on welfare, they vote Republican if you wave a flag and play Lee Greenwood or mention God…. so lay off the politics – it’s canned.

Solution: Sterilize the morons who are simply not going anywhere.

Greg H.

August 19th, 2009
11:13 am

We should stop being politically correct and just say it – most of these kids being discussed are minorities, and they come from homes where their fathers have run off or are in prison, while mom is never home either through legit work, or drugs, etc. There is non way to fix this. At least none that people will allow.

The only way to fix this would be to require all women who are on public assistance to be on Norplant birth control (implanted under the skin), and to mandate it that they would have to keep the birth control implanted until such time they are in a more financially stable situation and can properly raise/care for their children. The fathers who ware not in prison would be required to financially and physically take part in raising the kids they helped create, or, face lengthy jail time. Again, the tend to be “correct” will cause people to refuse this type of action, but it’s the ONLY way to fix this. Otherwise, get ready, because this current generation of kids are about to have their OWN kids, and it will be worse in the next generation – and worse in the next – and the next….

Indra Moedjio

August 19th, 2009
11:15 am

The process of educating our children about sex is the responsibility of the parents. It all must start at home and parent should be a good role model and set a good example to their children.

sean

August 19th, 2009
11:15 am

GASP! Kids having sex. Parents start talking about sex earlier.

Brett Shepherd

August 19th, 2009
11:17 am

The problem is that society keeps glorifying teen and pre-teen sex.
Not to mention these parents that are trying to be their kids best friends instead of being parents. You can go to any mall on a Saturday afternoon and see lots of pre-teen girls wearing “F ME” shorts and they are with their parents….What kind of sorry azz parent allows their daughter to go around wearing “F ME” shorts?
Sad as this is, I cannot wait to see how america reacts when we have the first ever teenage grandmother…

Brett Shepherd
Peachtree Corners

ray

August 19th, 2009
11:18 am

As long as society keeps looking the other way, as opposed to calling out, when previously immoral deeds are done on TV, on radio, and in public, what would the logical outcome be other than for the moral borderline of society to continue to decline??

Keep on America, the “don’t judge” mantra is revealing its results to us, is it really better?

YUKI

August 19th, 2009
11:19 am

Wow, this is a heated topic to say the least. It really all comes down to the parents, and too many parents are a joke these days. They don’t care, they had kids as teenagers and the trend continues. It blows my mind when I see a story on the news and they are showing the “grandmother” in her 30’s!!! And whoever said the comment about why should they actually work at a job when they can just keep having babies and get paid for that is right on! WITH MY MONEY! It makes me sick to think I go to work to support ignorant, lazy people. It is so frustrating to me. It doesn’t matter what color they are, if they are doing this instead of trying to better themselves they are useless in my book. But let’s face it, a large majority of those committing crime, having out of wedlock children and those in jail are not white.
I understand that sometimes people have bad situations and need help, but when they take advantage of it and want someone else (the government) to take care of them it’s just not acceptable.

White Guy

August 19th, 2009
11:20 am

Motherjanegoose, sarcastic, communist, indirect racist comments is so christian of you. Wow, what a wonderful world!

Blackberry Cobbler

August 19th, 2009
11:21 am

Obama, as the first black President, if he wants to do something to really “Change” this country, he should partner with someone like Bill Cosby and really come down hard on the black community. But he won’t. Jessie Jackson won’t. Al Sharpton won’t. They are all liberal cowards that pander to blacks rather than provide real leadership.

Jodi

August 19th, 2009
11:27 am

This needs to come off the top story with it being sooooo misleading. Try again at a feature.

Denise

August 19th, 2009
11:27 am

@MJG – I hate seeing you have to defend yourself everyday. If you know you are coming from a place of love and a strong desire to share as well as to understand, then that should be enough. Feel good about what you share even if folks don’t agree or want to criticize every 3rd word that comes out of your mouth.

White Guy

August 19th, 2009
11:33 am

Blackberry Cobbler, that will not change anything. This is a capitalist country. If there were no poor people, how could the wealthy prosper? I see some YOU PEOPLE don’t get it. Study socialogy, or government 101 before you make pricelees comments.

RickyDToo

August 19th, 2009
11:34 am

All this talk about education, kids needing an education, or kids needing to be educated. Where is the money going to come from when the first thing right-wingers want to cut in an economic down-turn is what? EDUCATION!!!!! Yes, educated minds are more in tune with society, reality and everything else in this world. But when you cut the financial strings that support it (can you say Reaganomics?), what you get is what you got!!! This is a large part of the answer; not the only part, mind you, but a large part. And when the finacial support is eliminated, then *we* have go into their world as volunteers and help educate them i.e.: reach out and talk to them!

Therefore, shut up, pay your taxes, and help educate these nuckle-heads to begin making this world a better place for everyone. If not, then just shut up and PAY YOUR TAXES!

It’s only when we all realize the fact that these kids are not going away, things can begin to change! You don’t help any one by talking *ABOUT* them; You help by talking *TO* them!!!

And guess what America? Here’s a cold dose of reality for ya: **When Black-America suffers, AMERICA SUFFERS!!!!** *(Whether you are willing to admit it or not!!!!!)*