Sexual Health


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Sexual health

In Illinois, teenage births have decreased, but girls are more likely to have a sexually transmitted disease than boys.

Teen pregnancy

Research has shown that "children of teen mothers have less supportive home environments, lower cognitive development, less education, more behavior problems, and higher rates of both incarceration (for boys) and adolescent childbearing."(7)

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy estimated that teen childbearing cost taxpayers $9 billion.

Ten percent of all children born in Illinois in 2006, or 18,027 births, were to teenaged mothers aged 13 to 19 years old, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Thirty-six percent of all teenage births were to girls under the age of 17 (n=6,395). Figure 2 indicates the number of teen births by age group.

Figure 2
Births to teenage mothers by age group, 2006

Pie Chart: Under 15 (2%), Age 15-17 (34%), Age 18-19 (64%)

Source: Illinois Department of Public Health

Figure 3
Illinois Births to teenage mothers, 2001-2006

Line Chart: Decreasing W shape. 

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Number of Teen Births 18,546 17,670 17,819 17,354 18,027

Source: Illinois Department of Public Health

Sexually-transmitted diseases

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, in 2006, 19,554 sexually transmitted disease (STD) cases were recorded among girls ages 10 to 19 years old. The STDs recorded included chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. During that time period, 5,058 STD cases were recorded for boys ages 10 to 19 years old. Seventy-nine percent of all STD cases for that age group were female (Figure 4).

Figure 4
Cases of sexually transmitted diseases, ages 10-19 by gender, 2006

Pie Chart: Male (21%), Female (79%)

Source: Illinois Department of Public Health


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