More Young People Engage in Unprotected Sex

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A multinational research has revealed that young people across the globe are engaged in more unsafe sex and have less knowledge about effective contraception and protection choices. The study which was prepared for the World Contraception Day reports that the statistics of young individuals who do not practice safe sex has increased by 111% in France, 39% in the US and 19% in Britain, for the last three years.

When asked about the implication of the results, Denise Keller, a member of the World Contraception Day task force said that, “No matter where you are in the world, barriers exist which prevent teenagers from receiving trustworthy information about sex and contraception, which is probably why myths and misconceptions remain so widespread even today.”

Furthermore, Keller added that, “When young people have access to contraceptive information and services, they can make choices that affect every aspect of their lives which is why it’s so important that accurate and unbiased information is easily available for young people to obtain.”

The said study involved about 6,000 young individuals from 26 different countries, including China, Chile, and Poland. These youngsters were asked about their attitudes towards sex and the use of contraceptives. The said survey was commissioned by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and endorsed by about 11 international NGOs.

According to the campaigners, unplanned and unwanted pregnancies are one of the major concerns that need to be responded to. The increase in the number of unprotected sex equates to the level of quality of sex education imparted to the young population. As compared to respondents from Latin American, Asia Pacific and the USA wherein three fourths received sex education, it was found out that in Europe, only half of the respondents did. Many of these respondents also aired that they feel embarrassed to consult a health care professional about sex and contraception.

“What young people are telling us is that they are not receiving enough sex education or the wrong type of information about sex and sexuality,” said Jennifer Woodside, spokesperson of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

“The results show that too many young people either lack good knowledge about sexual health, do not feel empowered enough to ask for contraception or have not learned the skills to negotiate contraceptive use with their partners to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies or STIs (sexually transmitted infections),” she added.

Some myths about contraception include that bathing or showering after sex can prevent pregnancy, which more than a third of Egyptian youngsters believe in; and that having intercourse during menstrual periods is an effective contraception, which more than a quarter of Thai and Indians hold true.

“How can young people make decisions that are right for them and protect them from unwanted pregnancy and STIs, if we do not empower them and enable them to acquire the skills they need to make those choices?” Woodside asked rhetorically.

 

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