According to the results of a recently released study from the Center for Disease Control, virginity rates are skyrocketing. Nearly a third of people under the age of twenty-four say they've had no sexual contact, a percentage that's much higher in 2010 than it was in 2002.
The study was conducted by the CDC to plan for STD and HIV treatment, since over half of STD infections occur in kids between the ages of fifteen and twenty four. But the study also has interesting implications about how we see sexuality — teenage and otherwise — in this country. Is this a sign that abstinence-only education, the lack of teenage sex in high-school movies, and an overall cultural shift have really kept kids from having sex? If so, is that a good thing? The survey doesn't give any direct data that suggest that teen pregnancy or STD-transmission have similarly decreased, but last I heard, they haven't.
There's also some evidence that sex — in the age of abstinence-only education — may have become so stigmatized that people flat out lie about it: more than ten percent of teenagers with STDs claim they've never had sexual contact at all.