Researchers are studying the bond between peers to better understand sexual behavior in black teens. This report reviews what we know — and all that we still don’t know — about the intersection of black youth, their friends and sex.
What We Know About African American Teens
Statistics on sexual activity among black youth.
What makes a black teen more likely to have had sex.
How spirituality impacts the sexual behavior of black teens.
Knowledge gaps related to black youth and sex.
About 52% of black male high school students and 40% of black female high school students reported current sexual activity.
More black youth report having sex (61%) than do their white and Latino peers (43% and 48% respectively).
Black youth were 100 times more likely to have had sex if they reported that most of their friends have had sex relative to youth who stated that all of their friends were virgins.
Researchers don't know whether or not existing statistics on sexual activity are applicable to black teens who don’t fit the low-income-urban-youth research mold.
Having peers who exhibit negative behaviors — such as substance use and school truancy — increases the likelihood that a black youth will engage in high-risk sexual behaviors.
Black men were more likely to use a condom in their last sexual encounter (73% did) relative to their white and Latino peers (where the usage rate was 64% and 59% respectively).