Back to School for Mid-Life Sex Education

If you are in high school today, the sex education might be good (which is the case in much of Europe, certain parts of the developing world and small pockets in North America) or it could be inadequate, usually when politically or religiously motivated to educate towards abstinence.

If you were in high school in the 1970′s or earlier, chances are your sex education was simply non-existent. Myths of STDs that circulated were very much more stereotypical about obvious risk groups, as opposed to risk behaviours. Simply put, the older a person is when they find themselves back in the single life, the less their chances of having good skills when it comes to safer sex behaviour.

A study done by the City of New York (2008) showed that reported condom use among singles got increasingly lower as the people got older. Whereas 80% of singles aged 18-24 said they had been safe on their previous sexual encounter, this went down to 61% for 25-44 year olds and 56% for the over 45′s.

If our societies are going to be so particular about limiting children’s and adolescents’ access to information, because of fear that it can lead to premarital sex, then we need to provide sexual health information mechanisms to older communities and come to terms with the fact that post-marital and extra-marital sex can be just as dangerous as it is pre-maritally.

More on STDs in the Baby Boomer Generation

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