In 2008, Case Western Reserve University completed a youth risk-behavior survey that found 18 percent of 7th and 8th grade students had already had sexual intercourse.
A national study found 28 percent of tweens between 11 and 14 say sex is a part of normal relationships at their age.
Education Reporter Kim Wheeler brought together a panel of four teenagers and an educator from the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center to talk about this issue.
"We know our culture is hyper-sexualized and kids are getting more sexual information from Nickelodeon than trusted adults, like teachers and parents," says Sondra Miller, of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center.
"It's starting at about 12 or middle school," said a young man from a Cleveland high school. "If you aren't doing it, then you are feeling pressured to lose your virginity."
We had teens from suburban and city schools, as well as public and private schools, and they all agreed that middle school is when many kids are having sex.
"It's an unemotional attachment, holding hands means more than hooking up," said a female teenager who was part of the panel.
All of the students agreed that sex is seen as more casual than it used to be. Many blamed the shift in attitudes on the media.
"We see it everywhere, on TV, in music videos, or on the internet, everyone is doing it," said one of the teens.
The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center says there is a link between early sexual activity and teen dating violence, so it is important that parents talk to their kids about sex and appropriate relationships.
TIPS FOR PARENTS:
Teenagers want to talk to their parents about sex, even if they don't act like it
Dating is the same today, so find common ground
Timing and location is everything
Use stars in the media to start the conversation
Listen more than you talk, ask questions
Model and talk about what should happen in an intimate relationship
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN YOUR TEEN IF YOU SUSPECT DATING ABUSE:
Isolated from family, friends, activites
Making excuses for partner's behavior
Keeping secrets about relationships
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN YOUR TEEN'S PARTNER:
Constantly checking up via phone & text