Contraception use in single men in US has decreased

There was a decline in single men using any form contraception from 2011 to 2015, CDC figures show.

Single men aged 15 to 44 are more likely to use a contraceptive method than those in a relationship or married.

But the number of them using any form of contraception has dropped two percent since the end of 2010.

And only 45.2 percent of single men used condoms, the only barrier that can protect people from sexually-transmitted diseases.

Meanwhile, figures show there has been an increase in the number of people infected with STDs.

Experts say that while the two percent drop may seem modest, any decrease is significant.

Speaking to Daily Mail Online, Dr Elizabeth Schroeder, a sexual education expert for 25 years who has worked for organizations such as Planned Parenthood and Active, said the figures should be a red flag to the medical community that we need better education for teenagers and young adults about contraception.

This figure showed the types of contraceptive methods single men used since 2002. There was a decrease in single men using any type of contraceptive when they had sex. Also, the figure showed that only 45.2 percent of single men used a condom

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at data from 3,707 single unmarried men in the United States from 2011 to 2015.

Researchers analyzed the data to determine if contraceptive use has changed in single men since before 2011.

Why sexual education for young people NEEDS to change 

Dr Schroeder said one way to help solve the issues with contraception use is to change how children and teenagers are taught about sex. 

There are four changes that she thinks need to be implemented in sexual education.

1. Starting children early

Dr Schroeder said children as young as elementary school should be introduced to the ideas of relationships and gender roles.

This will help children understand an equal role that both parties play in a relationship. 

As for talking about sex, she said that should wait until the children are in middle school. 

She recommends talking about it early because most children nowadays are heavily influenced by the media, which has an impact on how they view sex.  

2. Get rid of abstinence-only programs

‘These are misleading and misinforming young people,’ Dr Schroeder said. 

Schools across the nation should completely get rid of all of these programs because they are not properly educating children on the reality of sexual relationships.

3. Focus on wording in sexual education

‘What we teach has to be for all our learners regardless of gender or sexual orientation,’ Dr Schroeder said. 

The wording and lessons taught during sexual education can have an impact on children and teenagers.

Dr Schroeder said bisexual and lesbian women are mostly excluded from sexual education curriculum. 

Also, when most classroom settings talk about gay men there is only a focus on the dangers of HIV.  

4. Make condoms available 

‘We want to get everyone to use condoms from their first sexual experience,’ Dr Schroeder said. 

She explained that people are less likely to use condoms once they experience what it is like without them. 

Condoms should be more accessible and teenagers should be taught how to properly use them during sexual education classes.

The research showed that there was a two percent decrease in males that were using any type of contraception during sex. 

Single men aged 15 to 44 used some type of contraception 81.7 percent of the time.  

Dr Schroeder said there is a social construct of it being more the woman’s responsibility to provide protection because unplanned pregnancies affect them more. 

So this causes the men to think they don’t hold as much responsibility to make sure the sex is protected. 

‘There is an idea that it’s a woman’s responsibility to provide contraception,’ Dr Schroeder said. 

Also, there are less contraception methods available for men than women.  

Dr Schroeder said people are focused on protecting against an unplanned pregnancy when using a contraceptive that they don’t realize they also need to be concerned about STDs.

A significant number from the study was that only 45.2 percent of single males used a condom during the last three months of having sex.

The condom is the only form of contraception that protects people against contracting an STD or HIV.

Without this barrier to prevent skin-to-skin contact, there is an increased risk of contracting bacteria or viruses that will transform into an infection.

But people don’t realize they have them because most don’t show symptoms until the STD reaches a more severe stage.  

‘You’ve got teenagers who are not thinking they are susceptible to an STD,’ Dr Schroeder said.

She said this is because educational programs in schools will show pictures of STDs making students believe those are the symptoms they need to look out for, but really they could be infected with no showing signs.  

And according to a previous CDC study, the number of people with STDs has increased since 2013.

There were approximately 1.4 million cases of chlamydia in 2015, which is up 2.8 percent from 2013. 

Other STDs that have increase are syphilis and gonorrhea. 

The research from the CDC on male contraception use showed a 0.8 percent decrease in males using condoms from 2010. 

There could be a correlation between the decline in condom use by males and the rise in people with STDs.  

Researchers in the current study also found an increase in men using the withdrawal or ‘pull out’ method when having sex. 

In 2002, only 9.8 percent of males used the withdrawal method and now 18.8 percent are using it. 

‘It’s better than not doing anything at all,’ Dr Schroeder said. 

But she pointed out that it is again only effective for people who don’t want to get pregnant. 

The withdrawal method provides no protective barrier for the passing of STDs. 

‘The issue that we have with any safer sex method is how they are using it and if they are using it correctly,’ Dr Schroeder said.