Subjects: Behavioral health
Young adults may be putting themselves at increased risk of unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) during the upcoming holiday period, according to new independent research conducted by YouGov and published on the Web site of UK-based Marie Stopes International.
Nearly half (48%) of respondents aged 18-34 stated that they drink more alcohol during the holidays than at other times of the year, and 27% admitted having unprotected sex because they were too drunk to remember to use contraception.
In response, Marie Stopes has launched a ‘Wrap it Up’ campaign that urges men and women to carry condoms and practice safe sex during the holidays.
Marie Stopes’ UK centers are also offering an emergency contraceptive pill (which can be taken up to 3 days after unprotected sex to terminate unwanted pregnancies) at the reduced price of £10 until January 31st 2010 or while stocks last.
The research also showed that of the 18-34 year olds questioned:
– 19% had sex with someone they just met due to the influence of alcohol at a holiday party,
– 45% had sex under the influence of alcohol with someone that they wouldn’t have, had they been sober,
– 41% had sex that they regretted the morning after.
“The combination of alcohol and the festive party spirit may reduce inhibitions, and lead men and women to make decisions about their sexual behavior that they may not have made if sober,” said Lindsay Davey, Sexual Health Nurse at Marie Stopes. “In January and February last year Marie Stopes’ UK centers saw greater numbers of women seeking abortion services than at any other time of the year.”