2014 Iowa Adolescent Sexual Health Fact Sheet
Iowa’s teens at disproportionate risk for STDs
Click here for the 2014 Iowa Fact Sheet
Eyes Open Iowa releases new summary of Iowa teens’ sexual health and behavior
Iowa’s teens, especially young women, continue to be at risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia and syphilis. Statewide, teens (15-19 years) account for 26% of chlamydia cases and 20% of gonorrhea cases, second only to 20-24 year olds in age groups most affected by STDs, according to data summarized for Eyes Open Iowa’s Iowa Adolescent Sexual Health Facts 2014.
Eyes Open Iowa has released the 2014 version of the fact sheet, a broad-ranging summary of data covering the sexual health and health-related behaviors of Iowa’s teens. The latest edition is the second in a series of biennial publications. An electronic version of this and county-by-county reports are available online.
Young women are most at risk for sexually transmitted diseases. In the teen age range, Iowa girls represent over 80% of chlamydia cases and almost 70% of gonorrhea cases. The likelihood of contracting an STD increases with each sexual partner. In Iowa, by 12th grade 21% of teens have had sex with four or more partners in their lifetime.
“These rates are concerning since young people are not thinking about how STD’s can impact their future family planning decisions and the possible long term effects” says Kristin Fairholm, Executive Director for Eyes Open Iowa. “ At EyesOpenIowa we believe it’s important to educate young people about risks and prevention.”
The fact sheet assembles adolescent sexual health facts and data on other areas such as sex education in Iowa public schools, adolescent sexual health indicators and influences, teen contraceptive use, teen birth rates, and dating and sexual violence.
“We hope this factsheet helps adults make positive decisions about educating our young people with this vital information. Young people learn best when the message is consistent and repetitive. It starts in the home and should be echoed with all the adults that make an impact in their life.” says Fairholm. “We want to help young people plan for every aspect of their future including avoiding early pregnancy and disease.”
Some other notable facts about Iowa teens’ sexual health include:
- The percent of students who agree it is against their values to have sex as a teenager decreases from a high of 85% of 6th grade students to 79% of 8th grade students to only 45% of 11th grade students;
- Overall, the majority (56%) of all high school students (i.e. 9th-12th grades) have never had sexual intercourse. However, approximately 44% of Iowa high school students in 9th through 12th grades report ever (i.e. at least once) having had sexual intercourse;
- Among sexually active teens, 39% did not use a condom at last sexual intercourse, and 63% did not use birth control pills or other long-acting reversible contraceptive (e.g. Depo-Provera, Implanon or other implant, or IUD);
- The cost of teen childbearing in the state of Iowa is estimated to be $99 million (2008 dollars);
- Among Iowa teens in 9th through 12th grades, 8% have been hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend during the past 12 months.
“It is our hope to continue to partner with parents, school districts and communities to help lower the number of risk factors in young people’s lives.” notes Fairholm.
The fact sheet was funded by a Community Adolescent Prevention grant from the Iowa Department of Human Services.