A belief that condoms lessen sexual pleasure and an unwillingness to disappoint a partner are among the main reasons for young adults choosing to have unprotected sex, a new study has revealed.
Of the 1,400 youngsters questioned as part of the study undertaken by the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Centre, nearly two thirds said that they did not use a condom the last time they had sex.
Furthermore, participants reported an average of 15 incidents of unprotected sex with two separate partners over the past 90 days, with those failing to make use of contraception found to also be less likely to talk about sexual health matters with their partners.
"It's clear that we have to address these attitudes, fears and concerns that many teens have regarding condom use if we want to reduce their risk for contracting a sexually transmitted infection," noted the study's lead author Dr Larry Brown.
"The good news is that these attitudes may be easily influenced and changed through clinical and community-based interventions."
The research, which is published in the current issue of Public Health Reports, found no notable differences across gender or racial divides.
According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as one in four teenagers in the country will contact a sexually transmitted disease on at least one occasion.
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