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BEH4.A Sexual activity: Percentage of high school students who reported ever having had sexual intercourse by gender, race and Hispanic origin, and grade, selected years 1991–2011

excel icon BEH4A Excel Table

Characteristic 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011
Total 54.1 53.0 53.1 48.4 49.9 45.6 46.7 46.8 47.8 46.0 47.4
Gender
Male 57.4 55.6 54.0 48.9 52.2 48.5 48.0 47.9 49.8 46.1 49.2
Female 50.8 50.2 52.1 47.7 47.7 42.9 45.3 45.7 45.9 45.7 45.6
Race and Hispanic origina
White, non-Hispanic 50.0 48.4 48.9 43.6 45.1 43.2 41.8 43.0 43.7 42.0 44.3
Black, non-Hispanic 81.5 79.7 73.4 72.7 71.2 60.8 67.3 67.6 66.5 65.2 60.0
Hispanic 53.1 56.0 57.6 52.2 54.1 48.4 51.4 51.0 52.0 49.1 48.6
Otherb 43.8 43.4 45.9 45.3 45.6 40.1 41.6 36.4 35.2 37.8 46.3
Grade
9th grade 39.0 37.7 36.9 38.0 38.6 34.4 32.8 34.3 32.8 31.6 32.9
10th grade 48.2 46.1 48.0 42.5 46.8 40.8 44.1 42.8 43.8 40.9 43.8
11th grade 62.4 57.5 58.6 49.7 52.5 51.9 53.2 51.4 55.5 53.0 53.2
12th grade 66.7 68.3 66.4 60.9 64.9 60.5 61.6 63.1 64.6 62.3 63.1
a From 1991 to 2003, the 1977 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Standards for Data on Race and Ethnicity were used to classify persons into one of the following four racial groups: White, Black, American Indian or Alaskan Native, or Asian or Pacific Islander. In each survey, a single-question format (approved by OMB) was used to ask about both race and ethnicity. In 2005, the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) applied OMB’s 1997 revision to the 1977 directive and began asking about race and ethnicity in a two-question format (a methodological study1 has been conducted to confirm that trend analyses would not be affected by the change in format starting with the 2005 survey). In addition, note that data on race and Hispanic origin are collected separately, but are combined for reporting. Regardless of question format, the data have been combined to create the following standard categories—White, non-Hispanic, Black, non-Hispanic, and Hispanic. Estimates are not shown separately for American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander races due to the small sample size for each of these groups
b Students were coded as “Other” if they (1) did not self-report as Hispanic, and (2) selected “American Indian or Alaska Native,” “Asian,” or “Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander,” or selected more than one response to a question on race.
NOTE: Data are based on the student's response to the question “Have you ever had sexual intercourse?”
SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System.
1 Brener, N.D., Kann, L., and McManus, T. (2003).  A comparison of two survey questions on race and ethnicity among high school students. Public Opinion Quarterly, 67, 227–236.