New survey predicts STD crisis for millennial women

WPVI logo
Thursday, August 3, 2017

NEW YORK, N.Y. (WPVI) -- They may spend more time communicating than any past generation.

But a new survey by . reveals that teens and young adults, nicknamed the "millennial generation," aren't talking enough about sexually transmitted infections, or STIs.

And because of that, the publication predicts a future surge in infections, especially for women.

The survey of 1,454 respondents between the ages of 18 and 35 found that when the conversations happen at all, it's women who are initiating them.

And they are being forced to carry the burden of safer sex.

According to the survey, 58% of women say they've been tested in the past year, yet only 31% of men have been.

Nearly half of those answering didn't talk with their last partner about STI testing.

And nearly twice as many women as men started the conversation.

The results were surprising, says Ali Drucker, senior editor, Sex and Relationships.

"We expected that, overall, women would be the respondents who would be more conscientious about their sexual health," she told Action News.

"But we didn't expect the gap (between women and men) to be this wide. Sex Ed programs are often scrutinized for focusing too much on abstinence, but one thing they usually don't skimp on is fully exploring the risks of sexually transmitted infections (often in graphic detail)," she continued.

Drucker says with so much information available with a simple Google search, "It's shocking so many reported that they didn't talk about testing with their partners."

The CDC reported last year that STIs are at an all-time high in the U.S., and that those between ages 15 and 24 acquire half of all new STIs.

Women were twice as likely as men to say they've had an STI (36 percent versus 18 percent).

Many infections don't have symptoms, until women develop a more serious infection, or discover they are infertile.

Drucker says it's time to change the dysfunctional culture between men and women on this topic.

"So much of this comes down to men realizing their stake in all of this," she says.

She says women have to feel they have a right to discuss STIs with their partners.

"We do that by exposing the dangerous, cavalier attitudes some of their male peers have. I hope young women see the results of this survey and get angry, and I hope men realize that they can and must do better," she added.

For the survey, and other information, click here.