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Teens Use Condoms While Adults Rely Upon Double Standard

By John Cave Osborne |

Where'd I find it? Not in Dad's Dopp kit.

Do as I say, not as I do, right?

Apparently so, at least according to a survey the Boston Globe describes as the biggest one to detail sexual practices in over fifteen years. Data gathered by Indiana University indicates that nearly eighty percent of all sexually active boys between the ages of 14 and 17 are using condoms. Which means these young bucks are smarter than their single-dad counterparts, as the same study reports that males in older age groups use condoms at a much lower rate.

The good news is that children are picking up on our oft repeated message — the one that emphasizes the importance of safe sex. The bad news is that grown-ups don’t seem to practice what they preach on the matter. Only one in three sexual encounters between single adults involves the use of condoms.

And while that double standard might be alarming, by no means was it the most alarming element of this study. This tidbit was: Of the 5,865 people polled, some were as old as 94. Ew. Personally? I’d be good if they capped the next one at say, 80. Or 75, maybe.

(Somewhat inappropriate) joking aside, in a day and age when parents take their role more seriously than ever, I find it odd that many of those same parents would categorize the valuable messages they dispense as nothing more than platitudes which apply only to their children — not to them. Sadly, that seems to be exactly what’s going on. At least when it comes to messages about safe sex. Let’s hope the same cannot be said of the messages pertaining to other important issues such as drinking and driving or drug use.

Am I the only one who’s surprised by this? Because I honestly would have never thought that teenagers are more responsible when it comes to practicing safe sex than adults.

Photo: morgueFile

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About John Cave Osborne


John Cave Osborne

John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as Babble, TLC, YahooShine, and the Huffington Post. John went from carefree bachelor to father of four in just 13 months after marrying a single mom, then quickly conceived triplets. Since then, they have added one more to the mix, a little boy they named Grand Finale. Read bio and latest posts → Read John's latest posts →

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6 thoughts on “Teens Use Condoms While Adults Rely Upon Double Standard

  1. bob says:

    Presumably fewer teens than single adults are on birth control pills. If the adults tend to have steadier partners, then it might be reasonable to rely on other methods of contraception.

  2. JEssica says:

    I doubt single adults have steadier partners than teens. If anything I bet they have more partners.

  3. John Cave Osborne says:

    as a man who remained single until age 35, i’ve been on both sides of this equation, and i must say, i agree with jessica. and relying on contraception from other means, sure — but what about relying upon protection from STDs?

  4. Maggie says:

    Dunno how things are just now … but the two data points I have:

    Back in the 70s when I was in my mid-30s dating men 35-50, asking him to use a condom could be seen as an insult (don’t you trust me to have been responsible in my choice of previous partners??) and a handicap (well, I guess if I have to, but the loss of sensation may affect my performance …).

    A decade ago asking for HIV testing before going bareback was seen as an understandable precaution, if weird, but the complaint was ‘it takes all the excitement out of it to do all this pre-planning.’


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