Sexual Health news - Sexual Health and Behavior

Young Latinos in rural areas may need education on safer sex practices


Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) recently conducted a study which revealed that 18- to 25-year old Latino men and women living in rural areas don't always make the soundest choices when it comes to protecting themselves against unplanned pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Authors of the study surveyed about 450 individuals in this demographic and found that while many were not trying to start a family, the method of contraception they typically used – or lack thereof – may actually put them at risk of pregnancy or STDs.

"There is this tendency to believe that if you have unprotected sex once and nothing happens, somehow you are incapable of getting pregnant. It is a widespread issue and certainly not just applicable to our study or rural Latinos," said researcher Jocelyn Warren, a public health postdoctoral fellow at OSU.

Authors of the study said they discovered that respondents who said they were the active decision-maker in their relationship were more likely to use male condoms, when compared to people who were passive about their sexual choices.

Additionally, the researchers noted that many participants who used hormonal birth control were less likely than their counterparts who were not using the medicinal contraceptive to forgo use of a condom, which may put them at risk of becoming infected with an STD.

The experts said that it's important to target sexual health campaigns to both men and women.

"Programs and services aimed at preventing unintended pregnancy need to include men because we repeatedly find that women do not make decisions about contraception use on their own, and they do not always have the power in a relationship, and this contrast needs to be taken into account," Warren said.