Having responsible sex
The most responsible sex is protected sex, but this can sometimes be hard to keep in mind. As teen sex education programs remain underfunded – or nonexistent – across the country, many Americans are left not even knowing how to use a condom.
Expert Amy Johnson recently wrote in The Federalway Mirror that there are a number of ways that people should make sure that having intercourse is responsible each time.
First, make sure that you're ready to have sex. "Whether you are young or older and hopefully wiser, it’s your choice in a relationship whether you want to be sexual," she explains. "This is true from day to day, week to week, month to month." And "if you have moral objections, doubts about emotional or physical readiness of you and your partner, concerns about safety or the sexual history of a potential partner," then you can choose to abstain from having sex, according to Johnson.
Forms of contraception, like condoms, are integral to safer sex. According to the Guttmacher Institute, more than 99 percent of women between 15 and 49 who have had sex have used contraception. That means that's not just the smart and healthy thing to do, it's the popular option, too.
To really be responsible, though, you should also make sure to keep tabs on your sexual health in general. Regular screenings can be provided by clinics like Planned Parenthood or a healthcare provider.
Millions of Americans are affected by common STDs like herpes or chlamydia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that condoms can significantly reduce the risk of getting these conditions.