Differences by Grade and Age
Sexually active teens
The likelihood of being sexually active increases with grade, by 8 to 12 percentage points each year. In 2015, 16 percent of ninth-grade students reported they were sexually active, compared with 46 percent of twelfth-graders. The difference was slightly greater among female students.
Sexually experienced teens
The percentage of students who are sexually experienced increases with every grade. In 2015, 24 percent of ninth-graders reported they had sexual intercourse, compared with 36 percent of tenth-graders, 50 percent of eleventh-graders, and 58 percent of twelfth-graders. This difference between grades has been increasing since 2001. Additionally, the percentage of students who are sexually experienced decreased for each grade from 2013 to 2015. (Figure 2)
Among teens aged 15 and 16, males are more likely than females to be sexually experienced, but this difference nearly disappears by age 17. In 2011-2013, 18 percent of 15-year-old males and 13 percent of females were sexually experienced. By age 17, the percentage was 44 percent for males and 43 percent for females, and by age 19, the percentage was 69 and 68 percent, respectively.