Why it’s important to practice safe sex in college


24289826700_5e3cf68209_zBirth control pills are just one of the many forms of contraception. Most doctors provide women with birth-control pills when asked, and they can also be prescribed by health clinics. If one needs a form of contraception and one doesn’t want to go through a doctor, condoms are sold at drug stores, convenience stores and grocery stores.

Living/Athens Editor

As young adults, it’s no surprise that many college stu- dents participate in sexual activity. In a study conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Boynton Health Service, it was found that 72.1% of the participating college students reported having been sexually active in the past year, according to sciencedaily.com.

Whether it is considered a hook-up or within a serious relationship, college students are having sex, which is why it’s important to be sure that it is done safely.

Some college students choose to be abstinent, which is the only 100% reliable form of protection. But, for the consenting adults who do choose to partake in sexual activity, it’s important to realize that unprotected sex can result in severe consequences.

Many people’s fears of unprotected sex stems from the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy, but that isn’t the only concern that should be taken into consideration when choosing a sexual partner. One must remember, it’s also possible to contract a sexually transmitted disease through sexual activity.

To begin with, it’s important to have open communication regarding protection with any partner who one chooses to be sexually active with.

Protection is important for both parties because, according to itsyoursexlife.org, the sex education website funded by MTV. Each year, it is estimated that there are three million new Chlamydia infections in the U.S. among people ages 15-24. One in every six people between the ages of 14-49 having Genital Herpes and 14.1 million people becoming newly infected with HPV yearly. These are just a few of the many STDs that can be passed between sexual partners.

To prevent becoming infected with an STD, it’s vital to use a condom. Birth control methods such as the pill prevent pregnancy; however, the only way to stop the spread of STD’s is by the use of a condom.

It’s also necessary to figure out if one’s partner has an STD. If there is any uncertainty, he or she should be sure to ask the partner, and the partner should be sure to tell.

When making the decision to use a condom, be sure to check the expiration date as well as look for any scratches or rips in the condom. One should also remember not to store condoms in a place that gets very hot. When used correctly, condoms are 98% effective in preventing STD’s and pregnancy, according to itsyoursexlife.org.

Unsafe sex can also result in an unwanted pregnancy. If one does not want to become pregnant or get someone pregnant, it’s important to discuss prevention methods with one’s partner before consenting to sex. Some common birth control methods include condoms, a pill, a patch, an IUD, withdrawal or emergency contraception.

When using the pill the proper way, less than one percent of women will become pregnant, according to itsyoursexlife.org. The only negative side to the pill is that it doesn’t protect against STD’s and without insurance, it can cost money to refill.

Other methods such as the patch and IUD can all be given to a female by a doctor and must be renewed. With both of these methods used properly, less than one percent of women will become pregnant, according to itsyoursexlife.org.

Withdrawal, or “pulling out,” is a method that doesn’t involve any foreign hormones. However, it’s the least reliable form of pregnancy prevention resulting in 22% of women becoming pregnant in one year, according to itsyoursexlife.org.

If one chooses not to use protection against pregnancy and finds that one is in an emergency situation, emergency contraception such as Plan B or Paragard can be found at

drug stores. These methods should not be used regularly, but according to itsyoursexlife.org, they are up to 87% effective in preventing pregnancy when needed.

Although, it’s true that most students received sexual education classes in middle and high school, some still aren’t aware of the consequences of having sex. And, if they are aware, they don’t care about them in the moment.

In a study conducted by Ph. D. student from NYU John Bearak, he discovered that students become less likely to have protected sex as they progress through college, according to npr.org.

His research showed that seniors are close to two and a half times as likely to have unprotected sex than freshmen are.

For those who choose to be sexually active, be sure to stay cautious and responsible about the partners chosen and the protection used. Remember that if one chooses to stay unprotected, then the possibility of contracting an STD or becoming pregnant does exist.

Being in college is a time for fun and experimenting, but don’t make a small mistake out of carelessness and end up in a regrettable situation. Protect yourself and your partner by making the safe choice by using some form of contraception.