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Teens who engage in sexting are more likely to have sex Teens who engage in sexting are more likely to have sex
Date: 2012-09-17 21:32:06

Although only 15 percent of teenagers in a Los Angeles survey admitted that they had sent a sext, that minority was significantly more likely to have a need to undergo STD testing due to sexually risky behavior offline, according to new research. This information was compiled in the journal Pediatrics, and encompasses nearly 2,000 high school students who participated in the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

According to information provided by researchers at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, adolescents who indulged in sexually explicit text messaging were seven times more likely to be sexually active.

"No one's actually going to get a sexually transmitted disease because they're sexting. What we really wanted to know is, is there a link between sexting and taking risks with your body? And the answer is a pretty resounding 'yes'," said Eric Rice, a social networking researcher, quoted by Reuters Health.

The researchers also note the danger of sexts - which sometimes include naked pictures - getting posted on the internet, which could result in teens getting bullied or charged with child pornography. Furthermore, parents who want to keep their children from requiring STD testing are advised to bring up the subject in conjunction with news coverage of a celebrity or politician sexting scandal.

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New mobile app that compiled users' sexual habits has been discontinued New mobile app that compiled users' sexual habits has been discontinued
Date: 2012-09-25 14:35:14

Legal concerns have prompted the retraction of a smartphone application designed to anonymously gather users' sexual behavior - for one possible example, the results of their STD tests.

Although USA Today reports that the providers of the app - the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction and Indiana University - have opted to scrutinize issues relating to the app's privacy and data security, they said they had good intentions going into the project.

"People are natural observers. It's part of being social, and using mobile apps is an excellent way to involve citizen scientists," said Julia Heiman, director of Kinsey Institute, in a retracted news release from Indiana University. "We expect to get new insights into sexuality and relationships today. What do people notice, what are they involved in, and what can they relate to us about their lives and their communities?"

The app was intended to compile data on fetishes, flirting, masturbation, oral sex, information related to STD tests, condom use and sexual violence. The information could be disseminated without a consent form, but the researchers say the app would only mark the geographic location of the report, not the individual user.

Indiana University spokesman Mark Land said in a statement that the app could be made available again once they're no longer concerned about its legality.

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Researchers focus on sexual health of urban youth Researchers focus on sexual health of urban youth
Date: 2012-09-25 22:21:41

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found, in 2008, that 50 percent of black women between the ages of 14 and 19 had contracted a disease that could be detected with an STD test. Researchers from Oregon State University (OSU) now say that organizations may have been going the wrong way about preventing risky sexual behavior among teens.

"The level of sexual activity at a young age and incidence of STDs, including HIV and AIDS, in low-income, urban black teenagers is high," said Margaret Dolcini, associate professor from the OSU School of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences. "We have made strides in prevention, but need to continue to deepen our understanding of the factors that contribute to unsafe sexual activity."

Based on their surveys of black youth, OSU researchers concluded that sex should be taught as appropriate for certain age groups and circumstances, and abstinence-only education would work better if it offered emotionally based alternatives to sex. Furthermore, many adolescents do not have an accurate grasp on many issues pertaining to sexuality.

This could explain why 15- to 24-year-olds of all races provide half of the positive STD tests in the U.S. each year, even though they make up a quarter of sexually active residents, according to the CDC.

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Some debate emerges over availability of morning after pill at New York City schools Some debate emerges over availability of morning after pill at New York City schools
Date: 2012-09-26 18:18:17

According to the New York Post, the New York State Department of Education has begun dispensing morning after pills - specifically Plan B - at 13 New York City high schools. Although the administration hopes this move will reduce teen pregnancies, one Philadelphia columnist worries that many more students will have unfavorable results on their STD tests.

This part of the Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Health program, aka CATCH - the practice of giving Plan B to high school students without a prescription - has gone unpublicized in 40 New York City schools for a number of years. Parents have the option to opt their child out of the program if they choose.

"We've had no negative reaction to the CATCH program," Deborah Kaplan, an official of the health department, explained to NBC News. "We haven't had one objection. We've just had the opt-outs."

On The Philly Post's blog, journalist Christopher Moraff predicted that teens won't bother using condoms if they know they have access to Plan B whenever they want. According to this theory, by inadvertently encouraging adolescents to engage in unprotected sex, the Department of Education could be fostering positive results for conditions like gonorrhea and herpes on STD tests.

... Full Story

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