Oct 212010
 
Authors: Robyn Scherer

Sometimes it is amazing the difference between the sexes. To this day, the standard between males and females is still different. Although it is getting better, there is one particular subject that is fairly bothersome.

Ladies and gentlemen, today we will be talking about sex. I’m not talking about what you are probably thinking about but more about the issues that exist.

Today we live in a word where everyone wants to know your business, and they will secretly judge you on what you tell them. One of the biggest issues is the number of people you have been with.

I want you to think about the last time you heard a guy talking about how many people he has been with. The higher the number, the more his guy friends seem to congratulate him.

However, if you are female the opposite is true. If you have a higher number, suddenly you are looked down upon. Why is there such a difference? And better yet, why does anyone care?

I think this goes back to basic human/animal nature. In the wild, the dominant males breed with as many females as they can to carry on the genetic line. I think this mentality transfers to men today, even though humans and animals do not breed the same way (Young people are not necessarily looking to carry on their genetic lines).

In the wild, females are usually pregnant, and so even though they may have many sexual partners in their lifetime, the number is still fewer than the males.

But there is something you need to think about. I’m not sure if more young people are having sex now than before, but I do know they tend to talk about it much more often than the older generations. However, with this increase, there also comes an increase in the problems that can be associated with such behavior.

According to www.womenshealth.gov, “In the United States about 19 million new (STD) infections are thought to occur each year.” It goes on to say, “Almost half of new infections are among young people ages 15 to 24.”

So college-aged students are especially susceptible. And women, many times you will suffer more than your male counterpart will. If a male gets an STD, it probably won’t affect his ability to reproduce. But it may affect yours.

The most common STD is human Human Papillomavirus, which can cause cervical cancer. According to the CDC, “Approximately 20 million Americans are currently infected with HPV. Another 6 million people become newly infected each year. HPV is so common that at least 50 percent of sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives.”

That means that if you haven’t had HPV, there is a good chance your partner has or will. There are 12,000 women who contract cervical cancer every year, and it is usually a result of a HPV infection.

So what can you do? Make sure to use protection. Unless you are with someone when they get tested, you do not know what he or she is carrying, and it is better to be safe in the long run. One night of fun may haunt you for years to come if you aren’t safe.

I still do not understand why anyone cares how many people you or anyone else has been with, but it seems to be a hot button topic. I just want you to think about this. If you are happy with yourself, don’t worry about what other people think.

But you do need to remember to be safe, and stay away from situations that could result in you dealing with a disease the next day. Know your sexual partners, and make sure to respect yourself. It’s ok to say yes or no, but make sure you are able to think and make a good decision.

Robyn Scherer is a graduate student studying integrated resource management. Her column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 2:32 pm

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