The number of people suffering from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is growing each year. Research suggests that young people aged 15-24 account for 50% of new STD cases. As such, CDC cites them as one of the three groups that are most at risk. But why are STDs so common among young people?
Lack of Information
Some schools in the United States offer sex education classes to their students. So why are STDs so common among teenagers? Well, according to research, there are many gaps in the curriculum. What’s more, many schools teach abstinence-only sex-ed classes. As such, most teens don’t have access to the information they need before they become sexually active.
It’s not only schools that should educate teens about STDs, though. Parents also play an important role in their child’s education. But most parents fail to talk to their teenage children about sex. They are pretty much left to their own devices, which may help explain the increasing number of STD cases.
Because their parents are reluctant to discuss sex, teens are also less likely to talk about it. They won’t even discuss it with their partners before engaging in sexual activity. As a result, they will make many uninformed choices. For one, they won’t use protection during intercourse. Most often, it’s because they don’t know enough about it and are too embarrassed to seek advice from others.
Teenage years are all about trying new things. Apart from sex, many teens will also try alcohol and recreational drugs. When intoxicated, they’ll be more likely to make bad choices. Another thing that puts them at risk of STDs is changing sexual partners often. Both these things happen for one reason. Namely, no one ever sat these teens down to warn them about the consequences of their actions.
What You Can Do
Why are STDs so common among young people? It’s because they didn’t get enough advice from their parents and their teachers. As a parent, it’s your job to ensure that your child has all the info they need before they engage in sexual activity.
If you have a teenage child, have a chat with them. Encourage them to talk to you whenever they need advice. Research the different types of protection and share the information with them. Awkward or not, it’s something you need to do.