Safe sex practices lead to healthier lifestyles for all

By Staff Writer
November 13, 2003

Tallahassee democrat/KRT

The American Social Health Association estimates that there are over 65 million people living in the United States with an incurable sexually transmitted disease and each year, approximately 15 million additional people become infected. Engaging in unprotected sex can have devastating and life threatening consequences. Although students are educated in its repercussions, the ubiquity of sex on college campuses remains an issue in society today.

Talking to your partner, peer educator or healthcare professional is your first step to a safer and smarter sex life. If you feel that uncomfortable about talking about sex with your partner, then chances are you shouldn’t be having sex at all then. Unwanted pregnancy and STDs affect both partners not just one person. “Everyone fears pregnancy and that’s the last result you’d want to have at this age,” said Chris Leeds, a sophomore psychology major.

Are Cabrini’s students practicing safe sex? “I’d say about half do and half don’t,” said elementary education major Theresa Benditt.

Sue Fitzgerald, the college nurse feels that for the most part, students are not having protected sex. “People know what is out there, they know how to get it, and they know what not to do. The knowledge base is there, the behavior change is not,” said Fitzgerald.

Joneeta Byrd, a sophomore English/communications and Spanish major said that some people must have safe sex because the evidence is around campus. “I’ve seen empty condom wrappers in the grass and on sidewalks,” said Byrd. She believes that this generation is more knowledgeable in regards to STDs but that we’re less responsible about it since teen pregnancy rates have sky-rocketed in the past decade. The Allan Guttmacher Institute reported that nearly 1 million teenage women become pregnant every year.

Often times, students who have been dating for an extended period of time eventually stop using contraceptives during intercourse. “A lot of women around here think that it’s okay since they’ve been in a relationship for a while,” said Byrd.

Fitzgerald believes that students may have this ‘it can’t happen to me’ attitude about the consequences of sex and although it’s developmentally appropriate to feel this way, it poses a threat to the safety of the individual.

Dennis Harris, a sophomore business management student from Valley Forge College feels it is necessary to protect himself. “I practice safe sex, whenever I have it, because I’m afraid of contracting an STD,” said Harris. No matter how involved he is with another person, his motto remains “no glove, no love.”

Posted to the web by Angelina Wagner

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