HOW IS IT THAT ONE IN FOUR ADOLESCENTS HAS A SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTION BUT ONLY ABOUT 10% ADMIT TO HAVING SEX? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Only about one in ten adolescents admits to having sex, but one in four is infected with a sexually transmitted infection, or STI, the most recent study published in the journal Pediatrics found. Charlotte Gaydos, an STI researcher at Johns Hopkins, says the difference is partially accounted for by adolescent attitudes.
GAYDOS: Children, adolescents particularly are leery of disclosing to their parents or even other peers that they are sexually active. Often, as this study shows they have infectious diseases that are transmitted sexually when they say they haven’t had sex and children’s differences of opinion as to what constitutes sex is quite varied also. :22
Gaydos says surveys have shown that adolescents frequently don’t define anything other than vaginal penetration as sex, although STIs are transmitted by several other means as well, so what’s needed is education. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.