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Youth Health Now

The CDC has released a report analyzing the challenges youths face today. (Monique Kittan, Flickr)

Today, we discuss youth health in terms of self-reported information from high schoolers gathered from 2007 to 2017. This information comes from the comprehensive report of surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can find this report for yourself online by searching "CDC youth trends report."

The report categorizes data on youth experiences into four focus areas, which are sexual behavior, high risk substance use, violence victimization, and mental health. The data are presented according to sex, race and ethnicity, and sexual status.

Only 53% Of Youth Report Using Condoms

One striking trend shows that fewer high schoolers today are sexually active than 10 years ago. Those who are, more likely use effective birth control, though only about 30 percent do use it. Only 53 percent of youth today report using condoms during sex.

That‘s concerning when half of the twenty million new STDs reported each year are among young people. What‘s also concerning is that regardless of race young women are three times more likely to experience forced sex and electronic bullying. Those percentages continue to climb each year.

Bullying Rates Increasing

Perhaps what is most alarming in all this data is that for all twenty-one categories of risk explored in this report, lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth were at a significantly higher risk than their peers. They were more likely to be sexually active, to use illicit drugs, and to be bullied. They were three times as likely to consider suicide, and four times as likely to attempt it.

The report doesn‘t offer solutions to these complex issues, but it clearly shows that schools, families, and communities need stronger protections for vulnerable young people.

Thank you to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for reviewing this episode.

Read More:

"Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2007-2017." CDC. Accessed October 23, 2018.

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