NEW YORK, NY, September 12, 2011 ( – A new survey of African-American youth has found that almost half report considerable pressure to have sex. The results, which were derived from the answers of 1,500 youth ages 13-21, will be featured in the October issue of ESSENCE magazine, out on newsstands today.

“I was elated that Essence, a secular Black magazine, choose to even run the story along with the data,” said the founder of Rev. Clenard Childress Jr. “The multiple images and lyrics and instruction [young African-Americans’] minds are exposed to can only result in ill advised sexual behavior.”

“The result of the pressure has resulted in Black young women getting abortions disproportionately, which accounts for the data stating (a plummeting birth rate),” he told LifeSiteNews.


Released by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, the survey found that 47% of respondents, including 21% of those 13-15, said they had been pressured to go further sexually than they wanted to. Among African-American males, 54% said they felt pressured by their friends to have sex.

Respondents said that they believe that the TV shows and movies they watch paint a negative picture of African-American youth. For example, 72% believe that the media sends the message that African-American females’ most important quality is their sex appeal, and 64% believe that the media sends the message that it is okay for African-American males to cheat in relationships.

“We are proud to work in partnership with the experts at the National Campaign on this survey, and to bring its eye-opening results to our readers in our October issue” said Constance C.R. White, ESSENCE editor-in-chief. “I am so grateful to the young people who opened up to us in the survey and told us what is really going on in their lives today.”

Other findings from the survey include that 73% of respondents said the media portrays African-American youth as sexually aggressive and just 18% said they see themselves in the TV shows and movies they watch.

Among those ages 13-21, 31% said their parents have the most influence on their decision whether or not to have sex. Forty-seven percent of those ages 13-15 said their parents’ opinions matter on the issue, compared to 28% of those ages 16-18 and 17% of those ages 19-21.

The survey found that 66% of African-American males said that sex is a “big deal” and 73% would rather be in a relationship with no sex than have sex with no relationship.

Among those ages 13-21, 46%, including 34% of those ages 13-15, said they have seen pornography online when they were not looking for it.

Childress, however, expressed dismay that Essence “deliberately omitted the abortion issue.”

“It is gross negligence of any reporter to present research on the sex habits of African-Americans and leave out abortion,” he said. “1,786 African-Americans are aborted each day.”

“In order to have an abortion it is safe to say that at one time in the past 9 months you had sex. To report on sex in the African-American Community and not mention abortion is like talking about the sex habits of homosexuals and not mention Aids.”