Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Study finds that "one in four teen girls has an STD"

A new study by Center for Disease Control researcher Dr. Sara Forhan analyzed “nationally representative data on 838 girls who participated in a 2003-04 government health survey.” These girls were tested for four infections: human papillomavirus (HPV), Chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and herpes simplex virus.

The study’s finding? At least one in four teenage American girls has contracted a sexually transmitted disease. This means STDs affect more than 3 million teenage girls.

"High STD rates among young women, particularly African-American young women, are clear signs that we must continue developing ways to reach those most at risk," [Dr. John Douglas, director of the Center for Disease Control's division of STD prevention] said.

I think this says something about American society, where young women are taught, simultaneously, to be ashamed/uneducated when it comes to their bodies AND be sexually accessible. It really doesn’t surprise me, then, that so many girls are affected by these kinds of diseases. If we’re taught that the word vagina is a dirty, shameful word, how could we possibly know how to keep ourselves safe?

Young people in general know little about safe sex, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the statistics for teenage boys are just as high. Starting by teaching young people about their bodies, and the responsibilities that come with them, might be a good place to start.

7 comments:

Colt said...

It is a dirty word.

Geoff said...

So why are people against abstinence again?

Anonymous said...

Vagina

Ryan Capuano said...

Who is against abstinence? People are against abstinence-only sex education because stuff like this happens if that's all that's taught. To insinuate that people are against abstinence altogether is asinine. If sex education was better in schools, we'd probably have a lower rate of people with STD's.

deb said...

of course statistics are just as high for boys...the media just doesn't cover that

Anonymous said...

Hey, kids are taught to have safe sex. And taught what the consequences of not being safe are. No more than that can be taught. And if theyre too stupid to be safe then its their own fault.

Like if you tell a kid not to touch a hot oven, but they do anyways and get burned, you dont feel sorry for them, you say "Thats what you get for not listening."

Kate said...

But, kids are NOT taught safe sex; abstience only education is taught in nearly every state.