FILED IN: Health - Social Issues

Unsafe sex rises among teens

Almost half of 16-19-year-olds admitted to having unprotected sex

Myths about sex may be contributing to the increase of unprotected sex among teens. Photo via Bina Sveda.

Teens are having more and more unsafe sex, according to a recent worldwide survey.

Almost half of 16-19-year-olds admitted to having unprotected sex, which is up from 2009, when teens said they had unsafe sex 36 percent of the time.

Experts attribute this rise in unprotected sex to teens being embarrassed to talk to their doctors about sex; lack of sex education in schools; the belief in myths such as showering after sex prevents pregnancy;and underage drinking, which caused teens to “forget” about safe sex practices.

“When people have access to contraceptive information and services, they can make choices that affect every aspect of their lives,” says Denise Keller of World Contraception Day, a worldwide campaign held every year to raise awareness about contraception and unplanned pregnancy. This year World Contraception Day is Sept. 29.

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

Lack of knowledge can lead to unplanned pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Although it may be uncomfortable, talk to your teen about sex and contraception so you know what kind of information they have about sex.