"I'm not sure how much of this is guys thinking they need to use a condom or girls insisting they use a condom," said Olivier Vanasse, 17, of Princeton.
The study released Wednesday was based on interviews with about 4,700 people ages 15 to 19 conducted from 2006 through 2010. It showed the percentage of boys who said they used condoms the first time they had sex rose from 71 percent in 2002 to 80 percent. In 1988, 55 percent of boys said they used condoms during their first sexual intercourse.
"It comes as a general surprise to people that teenagers in general and teen boys in particular can behave responsibly when it comes to making decisions about sex," said Bill Albert, spokesman for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
The survey suggests condom use continues. Asked whether they used a condom the last time they had sex in the previous three months, 75 percent said they did, an increase from 71 percent in 2002.
"We don't think it's a stupid thing to do anymore," said Vanasse, a high school senior and staff writer for www.sexetc.org, a project of Rutgers University's Answer, a national sex education organization. "It's just accepted as common sense that you should be using a condom if you're going to be having sex."