Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Where did those teenage girls get the STDs?

There's a lot of concern out there right now about the 25% of teenage girls in our country who have an STD of one type or another, and I agree that it's a shocking statistic.

But nothing I've read has indicated the source of those STDs. Where did these girls get their sexually transmitted disease? How come the shocking news only involves the girls?

Is the implication that the girls are giving themselves the diseases? Surely not. If one-quarter of American teenage girls have an STD, what does that say about boys? Who are the girls having sex with? Who else is part of this picture?

It's been pretty well established that you are unlikely to get an STD from a toilet seat. Masturbation doesn't do it. Lesbians, according to my limited knowledge, rarely give each other an STD.

Who gives STDs to teenage girls? Who is talking teenage girls into sexual experiences that transmit STDs? And why aren't there statistics about how many males have STDs?

11 comments:

h sofia said...

The study that's being written about all over the newspapers was conducted by the CDC, and was meant to focus on the increased vulnerability of women to STDs.

It's just another example of the pathetic state of journalism that none of the articles I've come across about this study even mentions teenage males. It doesn't matter that the study didn't look at them; the articles could still pose the question. But they don't. I suspect sexism and laziness as the cause for this.

A to your question "where did those teenage girls get the STDs?" I strongly suspect the answer is "grown men."

dubhlainn said...

ugg.. this report is taken so out of context. By far the largest found STD (out of the 850ish girls they tested) was Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which as much as they hate to admit it Scientists still do not understand very well.

For instance, HPV shows up in women in monogamous relationships at astonishing rates, over 15 percent - some studies say 80%. How did it get there? How is it possible that monogamous partners can suddenly have a STD?

By the way, lesibians are just as likely to get HPV through skin to skin contact as straight women.

There is not even proof that condoms do much good at preventing the spread of HPV...

In my opinion the reason this study focused on girls is that the researchers were well aware that there would be high rates of HPV in their study. Thereby giving them the ability to loudly shout "one in four teenage girls has a STD!" something that was pretty well known about HPV already.

Joel Monka said...

To answer the last question first, the reason the boys's statistics are not followed as closely is that there are fewer long-term consequences- Chlamydia does not make them infertile, and HPV doesn't give them cancer.

As to who is giving the girls the STDs, it's simple: they're sleeping with much older men. Men in their 20s and 30s pursue teenage girls in the belief that they can safely have sex without using condoms. The girls are flattered by the attention, and the message from society is that there's no reason whatever why they shouldn't... what's surprising is not how high the numbers are, but how low.

ms. kitty said...

What do you think the statistic would be for young males?

Anonymous said...

Hello Ms. Kitty,

I suspect that Sofia is right... If the study did look at the rate of STDs in young men, it would probably find that the rate is much lower. Guys in high school and early college years know full well that older guys get the girl. At least that is how it was when I was in high school.

Namaste.
John Crovis

Mystical Seeker said...

I found this web site that lists the STDs that can be transmitted between two females.

Heather said...

I wonder how many of these girls have STDs as a result of sexual abuse/incest. The study comes across as being about promiscuity, but it seems to me they should have looked at what happens to girls through no fault of their own.

ms. kitty said...

Well, somebody is infected with STDs which are being passed on to teenage girls, whether it's their peers or older guys.

That says something very alarming to me about STDs and their pervasity. Certainly females pass along the disease, but they have to get it from somewhere.

It concerns me that there is nothing said in this report, to my knowledge, about how girls get STDs and from whom.

Comrade Kevin said...

If we would be truthful in acknowledging the powerful role that sexuality plays in the lives of both men and women and talk about the different dynamics at play for both genders, based on the consequences, instead of playing "guess what I think!"...then we might be getting somewhere.

Miss Kitty said...

Those are the questions I, too, was asking when I found out that tidbit. Why NOT males?

And my suspicion: girls who are sexually abused by males may be getting STDs there. Why isn't anyone talking about THAT? It's just another ploy to make America's teen girls look like tramps.

ms. kitty said...

This morning at the gym, I caught a few minutes of a telecast (CNN?) which broached the notion that what it means that girls have STDs is that males have STDs too and when are we going to consider that?

I was gratified to hear that, but it sounds like this was a study that only looked at females. I don't know if there is a parallel study about males, but there certainly should have been one started at the same time as this one, which took place over several years, as I understand it.