Everybody has sex, but it isn’t the easiest thing to talk about.
That’s the typical sentiment that many people share, but Michelle Falese, a junior at SUNY New Paltz, couldn’t be further from the norm.
“It was the summer before my sophomore year of high school. I had been dating my boyfriend at the time for nine months and we had tried multiple times in the past but it never worked out. I’m not sure why. But the day it did happen, I remember it like it was yesterday. It was late August, right before school was about it start up again. We did it on his bedroom carpet because he didn’t have a bed in his bedroom because he didn’t want one. That’s weird, I know. It lasted all of 10 seconds then it was over,” Falese said.
According to the Kinsey Institute at California State University (via MSN.com), the average female loses her virginity at the age of 17.4 years, while the average male loses his at 16.9 years of age. While Falese was ahead of the “virginity curve,” as I like to call it, Andrew Abreu wasn’t.
Abreu, a 20-year-old junior at Dowling College, lost his virginity a few months after his 17th birthday while he was a senior in high school.
“This story is pretty pathetic, but I’ll be honest. I was at my girlfriend’s house and we had been talking about having sex for so long. Finally it happened and it took about three minutes and she started crying. It took about a minute until she thought she was pregnant. I’ve had better times but I won’t forget that,” said Abreu.
Of course, Abreu wasn’t worried because he remembered to use a condom, as 85 percent of males do when they first had sex according to the Guttmacher Institute.
Tyler Bowne, a sophomore at SUNY Albany, had a pedestrian first time with his girlfriend. He said, “me and her were laying in my bed and decided to have sex. It wasn’t a huge thing.”
Falese, Abreu and Bowne are all in the majority of the following statistic: “Among sexually experienced teens, 70% of females and 56% of males report that their first sexual experience was with a steady partner, while 16% of females and 28% of males report first having sex with someone they had just met or who was just a friend.”
Of course, there are some that don’t fit either of those situations.
Shannon Coleman, a freshman at Stony Brook University, lost her virginity to someone who wasn’t her boyfriend, but not to someone she had just met either.
“He wasn’t exactly my boyfriend but we had been kind of together. I was a sophomore in high school and he was a senior. We had sex for the first time in his room while his parents were downstairs and I remember it hurting a lot. That wasn’t one of my proudest moments,” Coleman said.
But she isn’t alone in her “friends with benefits” situation, although she might have hit her stride a few years before the average person partakes in their first “friends with benefits” experience.
A joint study between Wayne State University and Michigan State University found that “two-thirds of college students have been in a “friends with benefits” relationship, citing the lack of commitment required as the main advantage to such an arrangement.”
Despite what this small sample size may indicate, teenagers aren’t having sex more than they did in 1995. In a study taking place from 2006-2008, the Guttmacher Institute reported that “some 11 percent of never-married females aged 15-19 and 14 percent of never-married males that age had had sex before age 15, compared with 19 percent and 21 percent, respectively.”
The percentages of teens having sex may be declining, but the unintended pregnancy rate isn’t going anywhere as almost half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended. The United States has come so far technologically, but the disconcerting fact still remains that its unintended pregnancy rate far surpasses that of other developed countries.
If more effort was put into reducing unintended pregnancies across the country, a huge financial strain would be lifted off of the United States’ government.
There were 1.6 million births nationwide that were consequences of unintended pregnancies in 2006. Of those 1.6 million births, over one million came at the expense of public insurance programs. More than half of the $11.1 billion ($6.5 billion) spent on America’s unintended pregnancies came out of the federal governments pocket (via the Guttmacher Institute).
It’s no secret that alternative methods to reduce these expenditures must be taken. And the point needs to be made to children before the teenage years.