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More Duval County Students Practicing Abstinence

Duval County Public Schools

More Duval County middle and high schoolers are abstaining from sex.

The Center for Disease Control’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey shows the percent of Duval County middle schoolers who said they had sex decreased from 23 percent in 2009 to 13 percent in 2015.

The biggest drop was in Northwest Jacksonville’s Health Zone 1, which includes James Weldon Johnson, Northwestern and John E. Ford, fell from 36 percent to 11 percent.

At the same time, the number of high schoolers who said they have had sex also decreased, following a national trend. From 2011 to 2015, Jacksonville teens who said they had sex decreased from 51 percent to 37 percent. Nationally, during the same span, teens engaging in sex dropped from 47 percent to 41 percent.

In an email to WJCT, University of North Florida public health professor Elissa Barr said a CDC grant might have contributed to the decline. It funded comprehensive sex education programs, teen health centers and teacher training. 

But despite the decrease in sexual activity, of those middle schoolers who were having sex, the study shows fewer used condoms.