Quantcast
Connect with us

Researchers: Teens who text about condoms are more likely to use them

Published

on

By Ronnie Cohen

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – High school students who discussed condoms or another form of birth control via text or other technology were almost four times as likely to use condoms when they had sex, a new study shows.

“Not all technology use is necessarily harmful,” the study’s lead author, Laura Widman, told Reuters Health.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Although prior research and media attention has focused on the risks of technology use – like sexting, we found that adolescents might also use electronic tools to communicate about ways they might promote their sexual health,” she said.

Widman studies adolescent sexuality at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“It’s not all about risky behavior. It might be another way that teens can have these conversations that can be a little bit awkward,” she said.

Widman and her colleagues studied 176 U.S. high school juniors and seniors. Of the 64 who reported being sexually active, more than half admitted failing to consistently use condoms, the researchers wrote in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Those numbers were in line with 2011 federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics. While 47 percent of U.S. high school students reported having sex, 40 percent of those said they did not use a condom the last time.

ADVERTISEMENT

In the current study, students who texted or used other private electronic technology to discuss either condoms or other forms of birth control were nearly four times as likely to use the prophylactics.

The odds of consistently using condoms more than doubled among students who reported discussing pregnancy or sexual limits with technology, the study found, although that result could have been due to chance.

“The technology as an intermediary may alter behavior,” cyber-privacy expert Mark Rasch told Reuters Health. “In this case, it seems to be altering it for the good,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It could also alter it for the bad.”

Rasch, who was not involved in the current study, has examined the dark side of digital communication as a former federal computer-crime prosecutor and now runs Rasch Technology and Cyberlaw. A father of two teenagers, Rasch has warned about the dangers of sexting, or sharing sexually explicit photographs.

ADVERTISEMENT

“They’re using technology as an intermediary, and the technology gives them some degree of separation,” he said. “Anthony Weiner would never walk into a cocktail party, drop his drawers and say, ‘Look here.’ But Carlos Danger, his cyber doppelganger, might,” he said.

Weiner resigned from Congress after a sexting scandal.

More than nine million U.S. adolescents a year are diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections, according to the CDC. Research over the past 20 years shows that teenagers who communicate face to face with their sexual partners about condoms and other birth control are more likely to use condoms, Widman said.

ADVERTISEMENT

The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Adolescence recently called for high schools to dispense condoms along with providing sex education (see Reuters Health story of October 28, 2013 here: reut.rs/1bSvCLL).

Widman called for more studies to explore a link between technology and teen condom use.

“Using technology is another avenue young people have for communicating about difficult or potentially embarrassing topics, including sexual health,” she said. “We need to understand this much better than we do now.”

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/MTSMeu Journal of Adolescent Health, online February 10, 2014.

ADVERTISEMENT

[Image: Teenage Girls Reading Text Message Together” via Shutterstock]


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

Trump team ‘is as incompetent, shambolic, paranoid, and given to conspiracy theories as it appears’: MSNBC panel

Published

on

In a Sunday evening panel discussion, MSNBC commentators explained that the White House appears to be just as chaotic and marred by chaos as the rumors say.

Many in the White House learned that the president's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was working overseas in Ukraine. Giuliani claimed that he's been producing a film that he couldn't get Fox News to run, as it will appear on the fringe network OAN.

"What Rudy Giuliani is doing is using Kremlin-manufactured propaganda as a defensive shield for the president," said CNBC's John Harwood. "Fiona Hill was unambiguous in her testimony to the intelligence committee. What Rudy Giuliani has been doing with these two indicted men who are linked to a Russian oligarch who is tied to Russian organized crime, is trying to manufacture a story that Ukraine, rather than Russia or in addition to Russia or differently from Russia, meddle in the campaign. That is false."

Continue Reading

Facebook

Watch Devin Nunes freak out and eject reporters when asked about phone calls with Lev Parnas

Published

on

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) lost it over the weekend when he was asked about his phone calls with Rudy Giuliani's associate Lev Parnas, who was recently indicted.

Nunes was at a Republican Party fundraiser in New York City when two Intercept reporters asked about the impeachment probe. Recent phone records subpoenaed by the House Intelligence Committee revealed that Nunes had multiple conversations with Giuliani and with Parnas.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump supporters lose their minds when church shows Nativity scene in immigrant cages

Published

on

MAGA supporters are losing their minds after a photo of the Nativity scene at Claremont United Methodist Church was posted to Facebook.

The scene depicts Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus separated and put in their own cages, a reference to the families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. Inside the church, the family is shown as reunited.

Senior minister Karen Clark Ristine shared the image on Facebook with the message hoping that everyone in the United States could see the photo and read the story for Christmas.

"The theological statement posted with the nativity: In a time in our country when refugee families seek asylum at our borders and are unwillingly separated from one another, we consider the most well-known refugee family in the world," she wrote. "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, the Holy Family. Shortly after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary were forced to flee with their young son from Nazareth to Egypt to escape King Herod, a tyrant. They feared persecution and death."

Continue Reading