Well Being

Teens Love Unprotected Sex, You Probably Do Too

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40 year old virgin condomsKids today amirite? Not only are they twerking internet deviants who can't stop texting naughty selfies to Siri, but they are schtupping without condoms. GASP. According to sources from a Time article titled “Why Young People Aren't Practicing Safe Sex,” teens are complacent and unafraid of the repercussions of unprotected sex.

Let's go over some details about teens and condoms relayed by the Time article:

A 2012 Guttmacher Institute report revealed that while nearly 90% of high schools are teaching students about abstinence and STDs, fewer than 60% are providing lessons about contraception methods.

It's unbelievable that there are still weirdos out there who think withholding information on safe sex will prevent kids from doing it. The scare tactics and threats of an eternity in Hades due to blow jobs are not working. Doctors agree that not only should we be teaching kids about contraceptives, but we should be making condoms and whatnot more accessible. Instead we do this:

It doesn't get better in college.

“A recent study released by the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada found that nearly 50% of sexually active college students aren’t using condoms.”

Though I hate the rhetoric that pressures people into using condoms or else, 50% is shockingly low, but it could be worse:

New York City health officials are reporting that only 1 in 3 adult residents uses protection, despite years of PSAs and prophylactic handouts under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

So it's not just the selfish and idiotic youths, the selfish and idiotic adults are also raw dogging it all the way to Hell. But we are focused on the no-good-very-bad-too-sexy-kids:

The CDC estimates that half of new STD infections occur among young people. Americans ages 15 to 24 contract chlamydia and gonorrhea at four times the rate of the general population, and those in their early 20s have the highest reported cases of syphilis and HIV.

Troubling. Very troubling; however, as worrying as these and a number of other stats cited  might be, the reactions to and judgments made about kids these days are pretty problematic and not at all productive.

According to Laura Kann, an expert in youth risk behaviors at the CDC, kids these days aren't terrified enough of AIDS and that's why they are having more unprotected sex than the sexually active youths of the 1990s. Kann said:

“The young people today know HIV as a manageable, chronic disease. It’s not something that can kill you in their eyes. So that leads, most likely, to an attitude that it’s not something that they have to protect themselves from.”

Please. Just because people aren't dropping dead left and right and we have advanced enough medically to control many cases of HIV doesn't mean kids aren't freaked out by it. Can't we promote prevention and educate people another way?

Patrick Luedtke the senior health official of an Oregon county currently riddled with gonorrhea outbreak after gonorrhea outbreak feels similarly to Kann.

“People don’t have the fear of death from sex like they had 15 years ago. For the teenagers, that fear is gone, and people are not practicing safe sex as much as they used to.”

Can you see my eyes rolling? Back in Luedtke's day, teenagers would walk a billion miles uphill in the snow to get condoms because they were so responsible terrified.

There are more reasons than slackjawed complacency for the decline in condom use:

Some research has suggested that sexually active Americans simply assume their partner is free of STDs, and an infected partner may be unaware, given that diseases like “silent” chlamydia often don’t have obvious symptoms.”

This is not because Americans do not fear STIs, they just don't fear that they personally will contract one. There's a big difference. Perhaps if we taught people that STIs are not just punishments for hellhounds and the dregs of mankind, we could accept that perhaps they can happen to anyone.

Even if everyone was running around with a religious fear of STIs, it still won't resolve the real reason why everyone hates condoms:

There is a perception — if not a diehard belief — that using condoms makes sex less pleasurable.

Can't we all just admit that it's true: condom-sex feels different and a little worse than no condom sex. Condoms don't suck as much as disease, inopportune pregnancy, et cetera, but they still suck. Big deal, wear one anyway.

While I wholeheartedly feel that safe sex is a very important issue, perhaps the ongoing resistance to and recent decline of condom use should not be blamed on teenagers and their feelings of immortality.

 Image via The 40 Year-Old Virgin