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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Sexual Knowledge in U.S. May Be Low (Duh!)

A recent survey of 1,800 people between the ages of 18 and 29 conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (National Campaign) found that most sexually active unmarried young adults believe pregnancy should be planned, but half do not use contraception!

Oh it gets worse - 46 percent of women and 61 percent of men reported they were likely to have unprotected sex in the next three months; 28 percent of men believed using two condoms at once would provide extra protection (when it actually leads to condom breakage); and my favorite - 18 percent of men believed having sex standing up reduces the chance of pregnancy!

So, why the gap between wanting to plan pregnancy and having unprotected sex? It may be related to the fact that this age cohort received abstinence-only education and more than 63 percent of them reported that they knew little about condoms and birth control pills, or how to use them. No wonder the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists report that half of U.S. pregnancies are unplanned.

Whatever shall we do? According to the survey, we need sex education for adults - in colleges, work places, churches, health centers, the military, and in community centers! Well that will be the day, is all I can say!

Photo credit: seanmcgrath
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.