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Adolescent Sexual Behavior

Adolescent sexual behavior encompasses the variety of sexual activities that youth engage in, from abstinence to intercourse. Much of adolescent sexual behavior falls into the categories of foreplay, or “outercourse,” which refers to activities that do not carry the risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs). These activities include anything other than sexual intercourse, such as deep kissing, caressing, mutual masturbation, and heavy petting. According to studies by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a majority of adolescents in the United States and Canada experience intercourse by the age of 18. Rates of sexual activity increase with the age of adolescents, and there is a continued trend toward earlier ages of first intercourse. In 2009, 46 percent of all high school students in the United States reported ...

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