1 in 4 Teen Girls Have an STD. WHY?

While so many parents out there seem to be overwhelmingly concerned with keeping their teens’ Myspace pages private and making sure their Walmart-bought CD’s are equipped with “Parental Advisory” stickers; their teens are still getting into trouble.

We know this because we were teens not too long ago. The more you are protected by your parents, the sneakier you learn to be. It’s no accident that some of the worst kids you knew in high school came from some of the “best” families. Teen girls rebelling is about as natural as shopping or gossiping. If all of their parents only knew what they were doing at all those “sleepovers”….

Well, what it seems like they’ve been DOING…are the boys from school.

At least one in four girls out there between the ages of 14-19 has a sexually transmitted disease. This alarming study has brought a lot of attention to the fact that teens ARE, regardless of what we want to believe, having sex.

Some have jumped to the conclusion that this STD rate is a direct effect of all of the abstinence talk promoted throughout schools. This particular argument is an easy one for me to get on board with. After all, my own parents taught me nothing about SAFE sex…I was only taught about NO sex. Did that stop me from having sex? Absolutely not. It just made me a lot less smarter about sex at first than I had to be.

While I do think that these numbers are at least partially a result of teens not using proper protection…I’m not sure that’s all there is to it. The virus that can cause cervical cancer, HPV, was by far the most common STD found in the teens who participated in the study. But was it so common because teens weren’t being safe with their sex? Well, see, that’s what I’m not sure about.

The more research I do on HPV, the more unavoidable it honestly seems. If you catch the strand that causes genital warts, well, then you can see it. However, the kind of HPV that causes cancer does not have any symptoms at all. Girls can get tested for the virus and they can also get the relatively expensive vaccine. However, it seems as though HPV can be spread in almost every way possible. It’s not just through vaginal, anal, and oral sex. It’s through any sort of genital contact. How can condoms help this?

It seems as though the only REAL way to avoid HPV is to find a partner who you can confirm doesn’t have it after making sure that you don’t have it yourself. AND somehow knowing for a FACT that your partner is not cheating. How many teens are going to do this? In fact, how many single people, in general, are going to do this?

So the only other option is apparently this: Oral sex can only be performed with a condom on or dental dam. And sex of course is with a condom. Touching and groping and even cuddling naked, though? OUT OF THE PICTURE.

I DO think that teens need to be taught safe sex to a much higher degree than they are being taught at the moment. My only concern with this study is the fact that most girls had HPV and this virus is starting to seem more and more unavoidable to me each day. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not a big deal, but every consequence of HPV can be amended early on enough that girls can actually stay healthy.

Abnormal cell changes that could indicate cervical cancer can be frozen or removed. Genital warts aren’t pretty, but there is medicine for them. What do you guys think? Are we all blowing HPV out of proportion? Has anything ACTUALLY changed when it comes down to teen girls? Would this study have been exactly the same if it had been conducted in light of HPV ten years ago?

A Painfully Awkward First (and Last) Date, Part 1
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