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The Naked Truth The Sexual Health Blog

Think teens are irresponsible? Think again.

July 11th, 2011 by Carla

Safer sex for teens

Survey: teens more careful about sex

by Sabine Kortals, Editorial Director

It’s a knee-jerk reaction to fault teens with unsafe, unprotected sex…but a new survey suggests they’re more careful than we think they are.

Findings from the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior – the most recent national survey of sexual health and behaviors – indicate that about 70-80% of teens used a condom in their last sexual encounter. In fact, the lowest rates of condom use were found among adults over 40.

Further debunking adult biases, most teens aren’t having sex…40% of 17-year-old males reported vaginal intercourse in the past year, and only 27% reported having sex in the last three months.

Interestingly, both teens and adults reported equally pleasurable sexual experiences with or without a condom. According to Michael Reece, Associate Professor at Indiana University, “Today’s condoms are not those that [older] Americans grew up with. We need to update educational efforts.”

Indeed, knowing your options for safer sex is critical to your overall health. So get educated, and get tested regularly if you’re sexually active or if you think you’re at risk for one or more STDs. While the news about teens shows a step in the right direction, we still have a ways to go to increase overall condom use, and reduce the risks and complications of STDs.

Photo: ©iStockphoto.com/kevinruss

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