Sex questions still taboo on teen survey

Monday, June 16, 2014 8:45 AM
Last updated 6:27 PM
  • Follow Latest News

ATLANTA -- In a CDC-sponsored survey, Georgia high school students answered questions on smoking cigarettes, wearing bicycle helmets, carrying a weapon, drinking alcohol, having suicidal thoughts and trying marijuana.

But the state’s students, once again, did not answer questions about their sexual behavior. They didn’t get the chance.

For more than a decade now, Georgia has deleted the questions on sex. So unlike most of their counterparts nationally, the state’s students were not asked about whether they have ever had sexual intercourse, and whether they wore a condom during intercourse.

220px-Teens_sharing_a_songThe Youth Risk Behavior Survey’s results, released last week, were taken from 2013 responses.

Though the effort is federally sponsored, each state decides which questions can be asked within its jurisdiction. Besides Georgia, other states prohibiting the sex questions last year included Louisiana, Utah and Virginia.

The YRBS is sent at random to high schools. The process is anonymous, with no recording of students’ identities.

(The CDC noted that nationally, cigarette smoking rates among high school students have dropped to the lowest levels since the YRBS began in 1991, reaching 15.7 percent. In Georgia, 12.8 percent of high schoolers said they currently smoked cigarettes.)

Asked about the absence of sex questions, a spokesman for the Department of Education on Friday referred a reporter to the Department of Public Health.

The latter agency said through a spokesman that the state must include questions related to sexual behavior by 2017 in order to comply with federal requirements.

“Georgia is permitted some level of choice in which questions are included,’’ said the Public Health spokesman, Ryan Deal. “In the coming months, DPH will work with its partners to evaluate and determine the best questions for Georgia.

A year ago, GHN reported that the decision not to include questions about sexual behavior would cost the state a shot at federal money for HIV/STD prevention.

In a letter from a Department of Education official to the CDC, the state said it would not apply for a round of federal funding for HIV/STD education because “it will not be able to comply with the new requirements.’’

Those new rules from the CDC require a state to include sex questions in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey in order to qualify for the extra funds.

HIV takes a heavy toll in Georgia. The state had the fifth-highest number of new HIV infections in 2011.

Georgia has the 17th-highest teenage birth rate in the nation, though that rate is declining.

Comments (17) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
itsanotherday1
48420
Points
itsanotherday1 06/16/14 - 08:08 am
3
2
Prudish

Yea, that's right Georgia; just pretend it doesn't exist and it will go away!

Little Lamb
49260
Points
Little Lamb 06/16/14 - 08:25 am
8
0
Surveys

These teen surveys are a waste of time and money. The CDC needs to stop paying good money on these surveys. The teenagers just make up whatever crazy answers they can, anyway. The answers are meaningless.

GiantsAllDay
10562
Points
GiantsAllDay 06/16/14 - 09:21 am
0
5
IAD, don't you know that

IAD, don't you know that sticking your head in the sand is the best way to deal with a problem?

corgimom
38775
Points
corgimom 06/16/14 - 10:12 am
0
7
That's right, pretend it

That's right, pretend it isn't happening, even though the average age for first sexual intercourse for black females is 13 and the average age for white females is 15. Let's bury our heads in the sand, and let teenage girls get pregnant and have babies that they are too young to raise!

corgimom
38775
Points
corgimom 06/16/14 - 10:14 am
0
8
And then let everybody moan

And then let everybody moan and grown about welfare, food stamps, feeding hungry children, and teen gangbangers!

You reap what you sow!

LL, children are surprisingly honest on those surveys, because the parents and teachers don't know the results.

Little Lamb
49260
Points
Little Lamb 06/16/14 - 10:45 am
5
0
Honest?

How can anyone know if they are honest if the test is confidential? There is no way to know!

From the story:

The YRBS is sent at random to high schools. The process is anonymous, with no recording of students’ identities.

corgimom
38775
Points
corgimom 06/16/14 - 10:59 am
0
8
There is no reason to lie,

There is no reason to lie, LL. Teenagers, as a whole, are not as terrible as some people think.

What would they gain by lying? They lie when there's something to be gained.

Teenagers lie to keep themselves out of trouble. Think back to your teenage years. Did you routinely lie? I didn't, did you?

itsanotherday1
48420
Points
itsanotherday1 06/16/14 - 11:05 am
6
1
Teens may be more cavalier

Teens may be more cavalier about a survey than adults; but if total honesty is the requirement, you might as well do no surveys at all with anyone.

Little Lamb
49260
Points
Little Lamb 06/16/14 - 12:26 pm
5
0
Mess

Teenagers like to tease, pull a fast one, mess with others’ minds, get one over on "the man," and just for general fun. Lying on a survey is just one way to do all those things.

I have to point out the obvious —> If the survey takers are truly anonymous; if the test is truly confidential, then there is no way to figure out what percentage of the survey takers fudged the truth and no way to know which answers were untruthful.

Darby
29532
Points
Darby 06/16/14 - 01:50 pm
5
0
"IAD, don't you know that sticking your head

in the sand is the best way to deal with a problem?"

.
And for a perfect example, I refer you to the current administration and ObamaCare, terrorism and jobs.

Darby
29532
Points
Darby 06/16/14 - 02:17 pm
3
0
"Back in the day" relatively few girls

got pregnant in high school. Everyone knew who they were because of several obvious indicators, including the "grapevine" and the fact that they would disappear for an abortion or to have the child.

Now we are so much more enlightened. Under the "coat-hanger" banner, teen pregnancy has reached an epidemic crisis and we deal with it by taking surveys and providing "free" government money in the form of redistributed taxes. (That which you subsidize, you get more of.)

There was a time when shame, social embarrassment and a sense of moral enlightenment had the effect of modifying our aberrant behavior.

That has all been replaced with shamelessness, "social sophistication", "social enlightenment", and moral decay.

Today, pregnant girls are more likely to get a high five in the school corridors.

Meanwhile, the sheer numbers involved assure us that the total number of deaths, abortions and unwanted children have skyrocketed far beyond anything anyone could have imagined "back in the day".

corgimom
38775
Points
corgimom 06/17/14 - 05:10 am
0
5
Darby, plenty of girls back

Darby, plenty of girls back in the day got pregnant out of wedlock.

The difference is that they got married. Now, they don't.

"It takes 9 months to make a baby, but the first one can come at any time." Where do you think that comes from?

nocnoc
49724
Points
nocnoc 06/17/14 - 07:23 am
0
0
Yeah I remember those "Anonymous" surveys

The Teacher passed them out in order and collected them in order.
They knew who did what and etc. just by looking at the seating chart.

Of course some of us actually thinking "accidentally" mixed up the order. Which lead to the teacher blowing a fuse, or if not caught ,some of the more Preppy straight laced students getting called into Counseling a few weeks later.

nocnoc
49724
Points
nocnoc 06/17/14 - 07:27 am
0
0
1971-2 HJH

We had 2, 9th grade students that left school with growing bellies.

One was "Popular" the other was sweet young lady in "love" with a older well off High School Student. BTW: He dumped her.

The point was they were removed from Classes and had to attend separate school.

Bizkit
35764
Points
Bizkit 06/17/14 - 07:46 am
1
0
I don't put much credence in

I don't put much credence in asking this young population this questionnaires-likely they treat it like a joke and I doubt answer truthfully. I'm sure they note their parents right to privacy with HIPPA and think why should I answer this stupid questionnaire and what business is of there? Then the fed govt will hold us hostage if we don't give them the info they want and not help with HIV/STD when this is becoming an epidemic with our youth. Why is the govt interested as they support abortion, sexual and homosexual activity, and drug usage, which the later two have historically associated with HIV. I guess since they socially engineered the problems they want to keep up with the success of the efforts? I don't think you need a questionnaire to realize our youth are having sex, smoking, drinking, abusing substances, etc. I think it's been that way a long time. Besides even if they have lots of data on the topic they will likely do nothing about it. They've been doing these for a long time and I don't think the govt can do a dang thing about it.

seenitB4
98653
Points
seenitB4 06/17/14 - 08:02 am
1
0
Surveys...blah

Everyday I see more ways the Feds use these counts-surveys to change our history as we know it....the census is one example...I wish we only answered a few questions...where do you live---how many are there--age...that should be it!

We now know that they are used to change the demographics of an area.....don't take my word for it...look it up.

Too much info can be just as deadly as too little.....especially if you want the Feds to stay out of your life as much as possible...

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/presidential-campaign/270589-mino...

Darby
29532
Points
Darby 06/17/14 - 10:36 am
1
0
"We had 2, 9th grade students that left school

with growing bellies."

.
True enough nocnoc, but I suspect that you'd agree with me that you had two (2) all year. NOW, you'll have two (2 or more) at any given moment. But that's not so bad because, WE ARE MORE ENLIGHTENED TODAY!

Back then, teen pregnancy was PROBLEMATIC.

Today, teen pregnancy is PANDEMIC.

Another survey or two should "fix" the problem.

Back to Top
loading...
Top headlines

City Ink: New board means more work for me

First Mayor-elect Hardie Davis will be sworn in, and the very next day the work will begin. Commissioners will meet and the gavel will fall. It will be a brand new day at City Hall.
Search Augusta jobs