Monday January 20, 2020

Here’s Why Some Young Adults Engage in Unsafe Sex

The findings may help explain why some young people engage in unsafe sex even though they are aware of the risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, cervical cancer and unplanned pregnancy

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Factors such as gender, sexual orientation and the desire to form lasting romantic relationships appear to influence sexual risk-taking among young adults, a new study suggests.

The study, published in the Journal of Sex Research, categorised people into three groups — heterosexual men, heterosexual women, and homosexual men — and found that all three had a preference for different condom negotiation strategies.

Heterosexual men tended to choose more passive strategies (and were most likely to agree to sex without a condom); heterosexual women tended to choose more assertive strategies (like withholding sex).

Homosexual men tended to aim for a balance, choosing more verbal strategies than heterosexual men, but selecting strategies that were not confrontational.

The findings also explain some of the motives and reasoning that influence risky behaviours. For example, the study found that heterosexual women were more willing to take risks when the couple has a stronger relationship motivation.

Birth rate increases after 9 months
Couple’s interest in sex may increase during Christmas as well. Wikimedia commons

“It is particularly striking that women had lower expectations that their partner would be interested in condom use – this highlights how challenging heterosexual women expect the negotiation of condom use to be,” said lead author Shayna Skakoon-Sparling from the University of Guelph, Canada.

For the study, the team involved 157 heterosexual men, 177 heterosexual women, and 106 homosexual men, aged between 18-25 years.

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Participants were presented with a vignette describing an encounter with a hypothetical new sexual or romantic partner and were asked to rate their attitudes and likelihood of choosing particular courses of action, as well as their relationship motivation.

The findings may help explain why some young people engage in unsafe sex even though they are aware of the risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, cervical cancer and unplanned pregnancy. (IANS)

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Lower Physical Activity in Adulthood Leads to Obesity: Study

Adulthood linked to lower amount of physical activity

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Physical activity obesity
Leaving school and getting a job both lead to a drop in the amount of physical activity. Pixabay

Leaving school and getting a job both lead to a drop in the amount of physical activity and may lead to an unhealthy lifestyle, while becoming a mother is linked to increased weight gain, researchers have found.

Many people tend to put on weight as they leave adolescence and move into adulthood and this is the age when the levels of obesity increase the fastest, the study said.

This weight gain is related to changes in diet and physical activity behaviour across the life events of early adulthood, including the move from school to further education and employment, starting new relationships and having children.

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Many people tend to put on weight as they leave adolescence and move into adulthood due to less physical activity. Pixabay

“This evidence suggests that the pressures of university, employment and childcare drive changes in behaviour which are likely to be bad for long-term health,” said study researcher Eleanor Winpenny from University of Cambridge in the US.

For the study, published in the journal Obesity Reviews, researchers looked at changes in physical activity, diet and body weight as young adults move from education into employment and to becoming a parent.

To do this, they carried out systematic reviews and meta-analyses of existing scientific literature.

In the first of the two studies, the research team looked at the evidence relating to the transition from high school into higher education or employment and how this affects body weight, diet and physical activity.

In total, they found 19 studies covering ages 15-35 years, of which 17 assessed changes in physical activity, three body weight, and five diet or eating behaviours.

The team found that leaving high school was associated with a decrease of seven minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.

The decrease was larger for males than it was for females (a decrease of 16.4 minutes per day for men compared to 6.7 minutes per day for women).

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According to the researchers, most studies including physical activity showed a greater decline in parents versus non-parents. Pixabay

More detailed analysis revealed that the change is largest when people go to university, with overall levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity falling by 11.4 minutes per day.

In the second study, the team looked at the impact of becoming a parent on weight, diet and physical activity.

A meta-analysis of six studies found the difference in change in body mass index (BMI) between remaining without children and becoming a parent was 17 per cent: a woman of average height (164 cm) who had no children gained around 7.5 kg over five to six years, while a mother of the same height would gain an additional 1.3 kg.

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These equate to increases in BMI of 2.8 versus 3.3. According to the researchers, most studies including physical activity showed a greater decline in parents versus non-parents.

The research team found limited evidence for diet, which did not seem to differ between parents and non-parents. (IANS)