Why are young people not using condoms? Difficult questions! Let’s talk about sex! At one point or another, you may have fallen into the trap. As a young man just graduated from college, I have seen and heard too many sexual faux pas it will be a tragedy to wish this discussion away.
Millennials are not using condoms and that is a fact that is supported by research. According to recent research, sexually transmitted infections are on the rise among all age groups as is the abortion rate. A WHO study released in 2018 pointed to an even grimmer picture. Young girls between the ages of 14-24 are at a higher risk of getting sexually transmitted infections compared to women above 25 years.
Kenya has been ranked third in the highest new HIV infections among young people in the East and Central African region.
It also has the second highest population of young people living with HIV/Aids.
The advent of fake condoms as well, and the easy-to-get mentality where sex is easily available methinks we young people just don’t care anymore. Are we having too much sex?
Stay with me, though. There is a method to my madness.
Whether it’s the prevalence of sex scenes in most series – where, unsurprisingly, condoms are not a major part, it has become disturbing to watch how raw most sex scenes have become in modern day films. The pun here is intended.
Why Aren’t Young People Using Condoms
It’s a theatre of the absurd but I am no advocate of risqué behaviour.
I’ve stopped questioning my pals whether they’ve used a condom during our rendezvous one-night-stand post-mortems, not because it makes me look like a holier-than-thou judgemental prick, but because I know that they haven’t. And I simply can’t figure out how we, well educated in the dangers of unprotected sex and fully grown adults, have got to this stage.
In this age of (mis)information, where the risks of not using a condom scream loudly in our face, I am shocked, when canvassing my friends, that in regularly using the condom I am in the minority. Some of them are using other methods, but others aren’t using anything. They are just styling it out. Bareback.
It is no surprise that some experts even claim that twentysomethings are the poster children for unprotected sex. The increase in risqué sex among my age group (I am 25) led to the American journalist Ann Friedman describing us as the “pullout generation”.
As monikers go, I have to admit it’s not my favourite, but it does resonate. Most of my friends have accepted that at least once or twice in their lives have ended up using this messy (ahem) and fallible technique as a method of birth control. Some even rely on it as the only method of contraception. Shocking, eh? I personally know a few people who swear by the pull-out method. For those that it fails, the run to Postinor hoping to salvage the consequences of sexual recklessness.
According to the Family Planning Association, there is scant research on modern use of coitus interruptus (which they describe as “the oldest form of birth control practised today”).
So why risk it on a method that has very little research backing it?
In my circle, inappropriate perhaps, but not strange – many of my friends admitted that they are much more concerned about unwanted pregnancy than they are about sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Some, even go as far as saying they’d rather get infected with anything else than an unplanned pregnancy.
Unwanted pregnancies have become commonplace among young people and so has, abortion.
Others have become young mothers whose education is interrupted by babies.
There is also the burden of disease we carry. Some of these diseases have no reliable cure now because the world is battling with antibiotics resistance and as it figures out where to next, you remain a statistic in the global context.
We are the epitome of ignorance if you ask me. And the irony lies in the fact that we have access to information but still will ignore using protection at the risk of dying from a disease that we could have easily prevented. Or carrying a pregnancy we are not ready for. Irony at its best.