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Study: Teens having safer sex than baby boomers

Jenna Johnson

Okay, there's an SAT test scheduled for Saturday, so let's start off with a practice question.

Those over the age of ------- might need to sign up for a sex ed class, because a new University of Indiana study found that group has the ------- rates of condom use.

A. 18 . . scariest
B. 25 . . highest
C. 40 . . lowest
D. 21 . . drunkest
E. 35 . . craziest

If you filled in "C" with a No. 2 pencil on your Scantron bubble sheet, then you are correct. Yup, those over 40 -- let's call them baby boomers and ignore the fact that they are also probably your parents -- are least likely to use condoms.

Condom Graphic.jpg

University of Indiana sexual health researchers surveyed 5,865 adolescents and adults, ages 14 to 94, about their sex lives, favorite acts and condom use -- one of the most comprehensive studies on the topic in almost two decades, according to a university press release. Needless to say, they learned lots of interesting things:

* When having intercourse, condoms are used one out of four times. Singles use them one out of three times.

* Casual partners use condoms twice as often as those in relationships.

* Black and Hispanic Americans are more likely than whites and other racial groups to use condoms.

* Adolescents are not quite as sex-crazed as everyone thinks: About 40 percent of 17-year-old males reported they had intercourse in the past year, but only 27 percent said they had done the deed in the past 90 days.

You can read more about the study here.

Campus Overload is a daily must-read for all college students. Make sure to bookmark http://washingtonpost.com/campus-overload. You can also follow me on Twitter and fan Campus Overload on Facebook.

By Jenna Johnson  | October 4, 2010; 12:20 PM ET
Categories:  News Overload  | Tags:  University of Indiana  
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Comments

You seem to be drawing the conclusion that older people don't know to use condoms or the risks of not using condoms, but not using condoms doesn't inherently mean unsafe sex or lack of information. Older people are more likely to be married or in committed relationships. Maybe some would say that married people shouldn't trust their spouses and still worry about STDs, but you need to look at more than age alone to come to a true conclusion about condom use and what it means about different generations. What does the data look like when broken by both age and relationship status?

Posted by: JLucas8 | October 4, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Well, that's because A) baby boomers are either likely to be less sexually active than teenagers, and thus do not need to use a condom, or are more likely to be in committed relationships where condom use is no longer necessary.

However, those who are not in committed relationships, and who are just having casual sex. It's VERY important to always practice safe sex. Assume everyone you sleep with is loaded with STDs until you can conclusively prove otherwise. Don't ruin your life.

Posted by: NickMB | October 4, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The over-40 contingent will include tons of women who can't have kids and don't need birth control, and includes a higher ratio of people in committed relationships to people not, so the STD risk is also lower. If a committed married/LTR couple, where the woman can't have kids or where the couple is not heterosexual, opts not to use condoms, it's not exactly unsafe.

Posted by: dkp01 | October 4, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

The study was funded by the company that makes Trojans. Can we take this seriously?

Posted by: trishmc_ct | October 4, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

yes, I understand that not all married people are faithful. However, please explain why a long-married or committed couple long past their fertile years and with no known medical issues needs to use a condom.

Posted by: abbyandmollycats | October 4, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Teens are not using condoms for oral sex, which is their preferred "hook up" activity. As a result, HPV-related cancers of the head, neck and throat are on the rise. I think this study is a little bit behind the times . . . .

Posted by: trace1 | October 5, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

You seem to be drawing the conclusion that older people don't know to use condoms or the risks of not using condoms, but not using condoms doesn't inherently mean unsafe sex or lack of information. Older people are more likely to be married or in committed relationships. Maybe some would say that married people shouldn't trust their spouses and still worry about STDs, but you need to look at more than age alone to come to a true conclusion about condom use and what it means about different generations.

Posted by: JLucas8

"In their study, Olowokure and his team counted 4,445 infections (excluding HIV) reported to 19 clinics in the region. From 1996 to 2003, total cases of chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis and genital warts among people over 45 increased 127%, from 344 cases in 1996 to 780 in 2003. Rates of STDs increased in patients under age 45 as well, by 97%, during the same time period. In the U.S. the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures — which include prevalence of syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea — reflect relatively stable rates of infection in people ages 55 and older, but that data relies on self-reporting, and in many parts of the country it is out of step with what physicians are seeing. "Our rates of syphilis and chlamydia are up across all ages," says Dr. Sharon Lee, a Kansas City, Mo., family physician and medical director of HIV Wisdom for Older Women. According to a 2000 study of Washington State residents, one of the only comprehensive analyses of STD infection among the middle-aged and older, cases of gonorrhea increased 18.2% between 1997 and 1998 among people ages 45 and older; in younger people, that increase was 17.3%.

Researchers point to myriad factors contributing to the rise in STD instances, among them a high midlife divorce rate and the ease of finding dates online. "What we have in this age group is a lot of people who are separated or divorced and seeking relationships. Sometimes they obtain them via the Internet, where they don't know the person and they don't know their sexual history," says Olowokure."


Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1819633,00.html#ixzz11WrwspTR

Posted by: James10 | October 5, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I am appalled with the grammar of the so called "educated" readers of the Washington Post. These comments are crawling with run-on sentences and misused punctuation. A sentence in one post didn't a verb OR a subject. The user just placed the period haphazardly in the middle of the thought. For the sentences that did include subjects and verbs, I rarely saw the two components agree. This is truly disturbing. I don't see why I should take any one seriously on here. Most of you lack basic literary skills. Instead of wasting your time arguing on this website, go back to school and learn how to write.

Posted by: missgthang | October 5, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

"A sentence in one post didn't a verb OR a subject."

I did this purposely to demonstrate how distracting and detrimental bad grammar is in effective communication.

Bet y'all thought you couldn't take ME seriously because of my error. Think again.

Posted by: missgthang | October 5, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

A friendly Monday Public Safety survey describing the sexual activities of Americans as old as 94 and as young as 14 found that, surprise, no one has safer sex than teens.

http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2010/10/teens-have-safer-sex-than-adults/

Posted by: foginprague | October 6, 2010 1:58 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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