Thursday, June 12, 2014

How much sex are N.C. kids having?

Kids in North Carolina have sex and smoke tobacco and marijuana a little more than the rest of the country, but drink a little less.

That's according to a new survey out today -- the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance study that comes out annually from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can find detailed methodology at the link, but the report encompasses several surveys, more than 13,500 responses and is widely respected as statistically valid.

Here are some of the key findings about North Carolina students in grades 9 through 12 and how they compare to the national median (more complete definitions of these behaviors can be found at the link above):

  • 6.1 percent of N.C. students admitted to drinking and driving, below the national median of 8.6 percent.
  • 33.6 percent texted or e-mailed while driving, well below the national median of 43.3 percent.
  • 15 percent currently smoked cigarettes, above the national median of 13.8 percent.
  • 40.8 percent had ever tried marijuana, compared with the national median of 36.6 percent
  • 23.2 percent currently used marijuana, compared with the national median of 19.7 percent
  • 32.2 percent currently drank alcohol, slightly below the national median of 32.7 percent  
  • 14.6 percent drank five drinks in a row, below the national median of 18.3 percent
  • 47.3 percent had ever had sexual intercourse, compared with the national median of 43.4 percent
  • 32.1 percent described themselves as currently sexually active, compared with 30.9 percent nationally
Much more detail about these and other behaviors is available in the full report, including some Charlotte-Mecklenburg specific survey results.

-- Taylor Batten

4 comments:

Alannc44 said...

Would be interesting to learn which states have the lowest percentage of kids having sex versus those with higher percentages and how states handle sex education in schools and Planned Parenthood.

Shamash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shamash said...

It would be interesting to know how ACCURATE this survey really is.

Not in a "statistically valid" way, but in an actual way that reflects reality.

Especially since the surveys were both anonymous and voluntary.

I just remember that the kids I knew always treated these surveys as a joke and put down all kinds of wacky answers.

I can also guarantee you that kids know how to do this in a way that makes it not so obvious that they're lying.

I wouldn't trust ANY voluntary, anonymous survey of kids on sex, drugs, or alcohol.

It's called social desirability bias.

And I suspect there is also a lesser known social UNDESIRABILITY bias at work, too.

Alannc44 said...

Shamash,

Okay, Sha, how about if we compare the statistics of under-aged and out-of-wedlock births with sex education? That would be a lot more difficult to obscure.