News: Myths and Facts About Sex

Myths and Facts About Sex

1) Most teens are having sex: MYTH!

The myth is that most teens have had vaginal intercourse.  Surprise, surprise: most haven't! A survey of nearly 14,000 high school students across the country reported that less than half (47.8 percent) ever had intercourse. So why does it seem like everyone's doing it? Well, there are a couple of reasons.

The first reason is that we receive thousands of impressions from the media that suggest it's true. Teens today spend between six and seven hours a day with some form of media. On prime-time TV alone there are about 10 instances of sexual behavior per hour. Combine that with sexual images on YouTube and in magazine ads, music videos, billboards, pop-ups, and movies, and it all adds up to A LOT of sexual content that we're being exposed to.

Another reason that it seems like most teens have had intercourse is that there is a lot of bragging, rumors, gossip, and guessing amongst teens. All this speculation can start to feel like "the truth," but it really is just gossip and rumor. Teens need to decide for themselves when they are ready for sexual activity with someone else and know that it is perfectly "normal" to wait.

2) You can't get pregnant the first time you have sex: MYTH!

The myth is that a girl cannot get pregnant the first time she has vaginal intercourse.  You can! You can! If you're having unprotected intercourse you can get pregnant — whether it is the first time or the one hundred and first time! It's even possible for a girl to get pregnant before she has her first period — this is because an egg is released before menstruation can happen.

It's also possible to get pregnant whether you have intercourse frequently or infrequently. It's all about the sperm hooking up with the egg. If that happens, pregnancy can occur. If you're sexually active, it's important to use some form of birth control if you are not intending to become pregnant.

3) You can't get pregnant if you have sex during a girl's period: MYTH!

The myth is that it is impossible for a woman to get pregnant from vaginal intercourse during her period.  It's not likely for most women, but it can happen. It's possible for a woman to get pregnant from intercourse during her period, especially if her menstrual cycle is brief or irregular.

Here's an example: In a 20-day cycle, ovulation — the release of the egg — may very well occur on day six of her cycle. Her period begins on day one. It lasts about five days. Ejaculated sperm can hang around in her body and fertilize an egg up to six days later. Let's say this couple has unprotected sex in the first two days of her period. The live sperm can wait around to join with her egg when it is released on day six. This could cause a pregnancy. And of course, another important concern of having unprotected intercourse — anytime during the month — is that it offers no protection against sexually transmitted infections.

4) Condoms are very effective in preventing pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted infections: FACT!

The fact is that, when used correctly every time, condoms are 98 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. And condoms are the best way to avoid sexually transmitted infections for people who are sexually active. Most breakage happens because condoms are used incorrectly. In fact, properly lubricating a condom helps reduce the likelihood of the condom breaking. However, only water- or silicone-based lubricants such as KY jelly, Astro Glide, Slippery Stuff, etc., can be used with latex condoms.

5) Young people are less likely to get STDs: MYTH!

In the United States, there are an estimated 19 million new STD cases each year.

  • Half of these cases occur among young people ages 15–24.
  • In addition, an estimated 65 million people live with an incurable STD.
  • Still, less than half of adults ages 18–44 have ever been tested for an STD other than HIV/AIDS.

6) I am not likely to get an STD because my partner shows no symptoms: MYTH!

Some STDs show no symptoms for weeks, months, years, or not all!

For example: syphillis.s

Signs of infection usually appear within one to three weeks after contact. In some cases, infection is obvious only after several weeks or months. Approximately 75 percent of women and 50 percent of men do not have symptoms.

7) Women are less likely to get STDs than men: MYTH!

  • 57% of females aged 14-19 and 97% of females aged 20-59 years are sexually active. The prevalence of HPV infection is highest in these groups, affecting approximately 40% of sexually active 14-19 year old girls and 50% of sexually active 20-24 year old women. HPV prevalence is substantially lower in sexually active women aged 24-59 years.

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