Sex survey reveals startling stats about Memphis teens

(WMC-TV) - A new sex survey of Memphis teenagers uncovered some startling facts. A majority of participants admitted to having multiple partners and to becoming sexually active before age 13.

The Centers for Disease Control recently released the results of the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

Memphis City Schools students were above the national average in almost all sexual activity categories except one concerning condom use.

The numbers are not drastically different from the 2009 survey, but they still show that Memphis teens are engaging in very risky behavior.

Here is how Memphis compares to students across the country:

Students who reported having sex for the first time sex before age 13 went from 12.1 percent in 2009 to 15.6 percent in 2011 with the national average at 6.2 percent.

Students who said they did not use a condom during intercourse rose slightly from 27.6 percent in 2009 to 27.9 percent in 2011 with the national average at 39.8 percent.

Of the most shocking results, 23 percent of students in 2009 reported having sex with four or more people. That percentage rose to 25.3 percent in 2011 with a national average at 15.3 percent.

Those students who said they had never been taught about AIDS or HIV education in school went from 20.6 percent in 2009 to 22.8 percent in 2011. The national average is 16.8 percent.

Girls, Inc. President and CEO Deborah Hester-Harrison said the most important issue teenagers in Memphis face is self-esteem or the lake thereof.

"You're just looking for someone to love you. They equate sex with love and they are two different things," said Hester-Harrison.

Not only providing Memphis youth with the information they need about STDs and pregnancy prevention, Hester-Harrison says Girls Inc. is just one organization devoted to making sure teens are not just another number.

"Keep them in school, help them get that education, surround them with all that they need so that they don't become a statistic," she explained.

Action News 5 contacted the CDC regarding the results of the survey to find out why it did not include Shelby County Schools. A CDC representative suggested that we contact the county's education department.

As of Wednesday night, we have not heard back from a county schools spokesperson.

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