Boyle Heights Beat conducted a Facebook survey of Boyle Heights teens this summer and found that while more than half of those surveyed are having sex, nearly 30 percent are not using any kind of protection.
While doing a story on teenage pregnancy, Diana Arellano, a staff reporter, found that teens did not always want to open up about sex. On Facebook, however, teens were quick to respond.
Of the 55 teens between 14 and 19 who responded, 56 percent said they had already had sex, while 44 percent said they were still virgins. Thirty nine percent said they were currently sexually active, and 61 percent said they were not.
Although more than half of those polled said they used condoms during sex, 29 percent of the teens said that they don’t use any protection. Eleven percent said that they use birth control pills. Fifty percent said they have had oral sex.
Asked where they received information about sex, 48 percent said from their parents, 46 percent said from friends, 43 percent from teachers, and 44 percent said from sexual education programs. (Respondents could cite more than one source.) Others said they learned about sex from movies and television.
When asked what they learned in sexual education classes, one respondent said, “It taught me to be safe and use protection,” and that “it’s better to be safe than sorry.” Another said, “I don’t want to have a child right now, so I take precautions.”
Nearly half of those polled said they did not know there was a Planned Parenthood at Roosevelt High School, while 41 percent were aware of it. Eleven percent reported they did not know anything about the Planned Parenthood organization.