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Some stats from this today, in case you or someone you know needs them:
If you are having the kind of sex that presents a possible risk of pregnancy, you are having one of the two kinds of sex (anal intercourse being the other) that presents the biggest STI risks, too. When there is direct genital contact — including for people with the same kinds of genitals, where there isn’t a risk of pregnancy — there are always risks — a definite maybe — of STIs. And those risks are usually not smaller than pregnancy risks for people in the age group we work with most, even though a lot of people think they are.
Experts estimate that almost half of the United States’ over 19 million STI infections each year occur in youth ages 15-24. A recent study found that one in four young women ages 15-19 has an STI in the U.S. One in four: we’ve had that figure for a long time now, it’s nothing new. More broadly, people between the ages of 15 and 24 account for 50 percent of all new STIs.
In 2008, the U.S. teen pregnancy rate was 67.8 pregnancies per 1,000 young women ages 15 to 19: in other words, just under 7 pregnancies per every 100 people aged 15-19, or around 7%. And, more broadly, about 30 percent of Americans who have the ability to become pregnant do before the age of 20.
So: One in every four people aged 15-19 acquires an STI each year. But less than one in every ten in that same age group becomes unintentionally pregnant. To put it another way: 25% of young people in the United States has an STI. Only around 7% in that same age group become pregnant in a year.
You can perhaps then see how you are most often more at risk of STIs than pregnancy if you are a young person engaging in the kind of sex that poses risks of both.
More at risk. Not less. Not the same. More.
Four years ago yesterday my father died from cirrhosis of the liver. Last year I wrote a post on my personal blog, and I promised I would write a story about him every year, on this day, to keep his memory alive. This entry is keeping that promise.
My father loved to teach me things prematurely.
Since my father was a teacher, he taught me everything like the academic he was. He always had a scientific seriousness about it. There were charts, pictures, and any other teaching aid he thought would help me understand what he was teaching.
My first memory of my father giving me a premature lesson was when I was six. He taught me about sex- “where babies come from,” as he put it.
And when he told me about sex, he told me about how everyone had sex: how women and men had sex, how women and women had sex, and how men and men had sex. The consummate professional, he was thorough to a fault. My guess is he wanted to tell me before it was too late, before I was too embarrassed to be seen with him and too cool to listen to anything he said.
This lesson was among the first things Dad told me not to tell my Mom; but I was small so I ran and told her everything. She was not happy. She was not happy at all. I remember overhearing him tell my mom, “I wasn’t going to tell her some stork s***.”When you mix the tough, no nonsense edge of a Marine with the brilliance and patience of an academic and stir, you get Allen Bridges.
Read the rest at Forbes here.