Teens Who Text About Birth Control More Likely to Have Safe Sex

C. Price
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Young people often love to talk about sex, though not always in the most useful contexts. However, new research indicates some communication between young lovers can be a good thing in terms of sexual health.

In a recent study, couples still in high school who openly texted together about birth control or condoms were found to be far more likely to use them.

In fact, they were four times more likely compared against teens who did not text on such subject.

Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studied 176 students, all juniors or seniors in high school at the time.

More than one-third indicated being sexually active, with more than half of those saying they sometimes failed to use condoms or birth control when sexually active.

“Young people who text were more

likely to utilize a form of birth control.”

Yet young people who electronically discussed such matters, including text or instant messaging, were roughly four times more likely to utilize a form of birth control over students who had no such communication.

Among students who openly discussed sexual limits or concerns for an unplanned pregnancy, the results were eight times more than those not texting.

“Not all technology use is necessarily harmful,” said lead author Laura Widman. “Although prior research and media attention has focused on the risks of technology use, like sexting, we found that adolescents might also use electronic tools to communicate about ways they might promote their sexual health.”

“It’s not all about risky behavior. It might be another way that teens can have these conversations that can be a little bit awkward.”

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