A report by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) has found that young people are more likely to prioritise schoolwork and seeing their families than hanging out with their friends.
It said fewer teen pregnancies may be down to lower levels of face-to-face interaction – pointing out that when teenagers socialise less opportunities for sexual interaction that could result in a pregnancy are reduced.
The Office of National Statistics found there were 18,076 conceptions to under 18s in 2016 – equating to 18.9 conceptions per 1000 women aged 15 to 17.
That is a drop of 11% from 2015 and compares to a rate of 47.1 per 1000 in 1969.
At the same time, young people are becoming more likely to speak to friends online than in real life, according to a BPAS survey of 1,000 16-18-year-olds.
More than two thirds of those surveyed by the charity said they speak to friends online four or more times a week, while less than a quarter saw them that often in person.
The study found these decisions also had an impact on whether teenagers had sex.
Almost half of those who met friends in person four times a week said they had had sex before, compared to 29% who saw their friends less than once a month.
Around 15% of teenagers who saw their partners every day had not had sex with anyone, compared to 42% of those who saw their boyfriend or girlfriend once a month or less.
One in five of the teenagers said they socialised outside work or study once a month or less.
Around a third of those surveyed viewed their family as high importance, while 82% said getting good grades and career success were a priority and 68% named spending time with their peers as important.
Our research reveals that this is a generation who are focused on their education, aware of economic challenges, but determined to succeed regardless, and many of whom enjoy time with their families as much with partners and friends, Katherine O’Brien, head of policy research at BPAS said.
We believe that young people themselves are making different choices about the way they live their lives.
If we can maintain good access to contraceptive services for young people, there is every reason to hope this profound decline in teenage pregnancies is here to stay.
News Source SkyNews