Study: Access to Free Birth Control Doesn’t Encourage Risky Sex

Study: Access to Free Birth Control Doesn’t Encourage Risky Sex

A study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology revealed that women who had access to free birth control weren’t at any greater risk of being diagnosed with STIs than those with no access.

This study further bolsters the benefits of free access to birth control, especially when combined with an earlier study, where over 9,000 women were given free birth control;  The result was a dramatic reduction in abortions and teen pregnancies.

The study analyzed data from 7,751 women ages 14 to 45 who completed 12 month follow-up surveys from the earlier study.  All the participants where either sexually active or planning to be when the study began. Five percent of the women were virgins at the start of the study.

Some results from the study:

  • 3.3% reported more than one partner the previous month, down from 5.2% at the beginning of the study.
  • 16% increased their numbers of partners — most often from zero to one.
  • The median number of times women had vaginal intercourse in a month was six, up from four.
  • Rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia were the same among women who increased their sexual frequency and those who did not.
  • 46% who were virgins at the beginning of the study were still virgins, despite their earlier intentions to start having sex.

The latest findings should dispel “the idea that the only thing standing between women and promiscuity is a fear of pregnancy,” says project director Gina Secura, a researcher at Washington University.

[USA Today]

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