Did you get to check out MTV’s “10 Most Outrageous Sex Myths” last week? Well, lucky for DVR, I finally tuned in the other night, and, I must say, I was shocked. As a Community Health Educator, I like to believe people have basic sexual knowledge, but time and again, I am proved otherwise. The myths ranged from “If I use birth control, I don’t need to worry about STDs-right?” to “If he pulls out, I won’t get pregnant or an STD.” There were blurbs from celebrities and young adults, which served as the real shocker. The vast amount of misinformation floating around the internet, among friends, and on TV is hard to comprehend. There are many people who think you can identify someone with an STI simply by looking at them, and there are other people who think HIV can be cured. This is terrifying.
Is this how we are protecting our youth? We give them incorrect information, tell them not to have sex, and expect that when they do-it will all be alright. Consequently, we have ended up in a situation where 50% of young adults will have contracted an STI by age 25 (http://www.itsyoursexlife.com/gyt/know/). That is no small number. With a society that pushes an abstinence only agenda and often portrays sex as “dirty” or “wrong”, it’s no surprise that youth are hesitant to ask about both contraception and testing. It’s far easier to neglect birth control and hope for the best and live with “ignorance is bliss” when it comes to STIs. This, paired with the sneaky nature of STIs to often show no symptoms, has placed us in an epidemic. So, what can we do to reverse this trend? I think comprehensive sex education would be a start. You have all heard the demands over and over again, so I will spare you that segment. However, let’s just pause for a moment: how has it gotten this bad? Have we really failed our children this gravely?
The popular saying "change begins with you" may very well apply here. Whether you are an educator, parent, teen, or simply a concerned friend, start the conversation. The only way to protect yourself from STIs is with abstinence or a male or female condom. For those who choose to become sexually active, the latter two options are widely available and often provided free of charge at clinics and health departments. Spread awareness. Spread knowledge. Talk to those you love about STIs and their prevention. Get tested and encourage others to do so. The statistic above has the potential to change, and it all begins with education.
See: http://www.itsyoursexlife.com/gyt/know/top-10-most-outrageous-sex-myths/ for more!