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Sex education helps teens delay sexual intercourse
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Teenagers who have had formal sex education are more likely to delay sexual intercourse until after they turn 15, according to a study published Wednesday in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

The study was carried out by researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Researchers found that teenage boys who had sex education in school were 71 percent less likely to have intercourse before age 15, and girls who had formal sex education were 59 percent less likely to have sex before age 15.
"Sex education seems to be working," Trisha Mueller, an epidemiologist with the CDC who led the study, told the reporters. "It seems to be especially effective for populations that are usually at high risk."

Sex education also increased the likelihood that teen boys would use contraceptives the first time they had sex, according to the study.

Researchers analyzed responses from 2,019 teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 to the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth and concluded that formal sex education also seems to lead to safer sex.

The study said boys who had received sex education were almost three times more likely to use birth control the first time they had sex, but no such associations were found among girls.

"Unlike many previous studies, our results suggest that sex education before first sex protects youth from engaging in sexual intercourse at an early age," said researchers in the study.

(Xinhua News Agency December 20, 2007)

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