WebMD recently posted the results of a new survey that shows teenagers are NOT engaging more in oral sex as a replacement for intercourse.
Quoting WebMD, who quotes Laura Lindberg, senior research associate at the Guttmacher Institute,
There is a widespread belief that teens engage in nonvaginal forms of sex, especially oral sex, as a way to be sexually active while still claiming that technically, they are virgins. However, our research shows that this supposed substitution of oral sex for vaginal sex is largely a myth. There is no good evidence that teens who have not had intercourse engage in oral sex with a series of partners.
The article goes on to state that STDs are common and mentioned the link to oral cancer -- which is all well and good, but it's information most of us already know.
It also shouldn't surprise anyone that teens are having sex.
The real issue -- and one not brought up in the WebMD article or the survey -- is that we as a country are not doing a good job of communicating the facts of STDs.
The fact that one in four girls gets one proves it -- as does the fact that the U.S. has the highest rates of STDs *in the world.*
(Unbelievable if you ask me.)
Here locally a story ran in the Gloucester Times about the number of high school pregnancies spiking to three times the "normal" number.
According to the report, high school girls are intentionally becoming pregnant due to the influence of young Hollywood stars, such as Jamie Lynn Spears, doing so.
What this story confirms is that these young women, and many like them, do not use anything to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases.
Unfortunately, preaching abstinence is not going to work. Or, it should be followed up by education on the prevention and transmission of STDs.
It would be interesting to compare the rates of STDs in 15-year old girls from 20 years ago to see if anything has changed.