A study conducted by researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden provides some alarming statistics about the sexual habits of young people. According to the research, youths are only using condoms half of the time they have sex, which makes them susceptible to contracting some of the most common STDs.
“We have to get young people to view condoms as an essential part of having sex,” said Ronny Heikki Tikkanen, a researcher who worked on the study. “The fact that so many don’t use condoms, even though they know that they offer protection against both [sexually transmitted infections] and unwanted pregnancies, shows how important it is to work on attitudes and behaviors.”
The survey polled 15,000 people between the ages of 15 and 29 living in Sweden. While it’s likely that Swedish teens have different sexual habits than their peers in the U.S., the study still provides insight into the mindset of sexually active teens.
The study suggests that people who have their first sexual encounter at a young age are more likely to take risks in many walks of life – including with alcohol and drugs. However, the researchers also found that on average, most people lose their virginity at age 16, and are typically sober when they do so.
Sadly, many of those who said they take risks when it comes to safe sex admitted that they had “encountered HIV prevention initiatives without them having impacted notably on their behavior.”