Teenage pregnancy rates fall as youngsters prefer sensible TV-watching to getting frisky, new study finds

The teenage conception rate in England and Wales has plummeted by 60 per cent since 1998 and by 55 per cent since 2007.

Now, a survey by pregnancy advice service Bpas has revealed it is because youngsters are too busy being sensible to get frisky. Young people now place a higher value on spending time with family than friends, the poll of 1,004 16- to 18-year olds shows.

And more would rather achieve good school grades and succeed in their career than go out partying. One in four says they never drink alcohol and of those who do booze, most drink no more than a couple of pints at a time.

Many said they appreciate the need to be careful and responsible when drinking and say there is a stigma about teenage pregnancy. Only 34 per cent of those quizzed said they have had sex and those who consumed alcohol at lower levels were least likely to have done so.

They also said they socialised more often online than in person, reducing their opportunity for sex.

Katherine O’Brien, from Bpas, said: “Our research reveals that this is a generation who are focused on their education, aware of economic challenges but determined to succeed regardless, and many of whom enjoy time with their families as much as with partners and friends.

“They seem to place significant value on responsibility and maturity, particularly when it comes to alcohol consumption and sex. We believe that young people themselves are making different choices about the way they live their lives.”

The under-18 conception rate was 47.1 per thousand women aged 15 to17 in 1969 but this had fallen to 18.9 by 2016, the latest year available.

It's full stream ahead

MORE Brits are watching streamed shows than pay telly for the first time.

Subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV, the three most popular online services, have hit 15.4million.

Households using pay TV including Sky — home to Game of Thrones — Virgin and BT, have fallen to 15.1million, said regulator Ofcom.

Fans of series including Netflix sci-fi show Stranger Things have boosted streaming.

Pay TV firms still make more cash as their subscriptions tend to be higher.

Online music streaming revenues have also overtaken sales of CDs and vinyl.

Subscriptions to services including Apple Music and Spotify rose 38 per cent between 2016 and 2017.

Sales of physical formats fell seven per cent and music downloads a quarter.

Digital radio also eclipsed analogue for the first time in the first three months of the year, with 50.9 per cent listening through DAB, online or digital TV.

Ofcom boss Sharon White said the change to telly viewing was part of a rapid shift.

She added: “The ­challenges cannot be underestimated but UK broadcasters have a history of adapting.

"Our broadcasters can compete in the digital age.”

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