Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
A decade ago, 60 percent of American college students used condoms when having sex, but that number has fallen since. This discouraging news comes at the same time as reports of rising rates of sexually-transmitted diseases, with half of new STD diagnoses coming from young people. More from Time.com:
A recent study released by the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada found that nearly 50% of sexually active college students aren’t using condoms. Other reports have foundthat while teenagers are likely to use a condom the first time they have sex, their behavior becomes inconsistent after that.
Health officials from Oregon to Georgia are ringing alarm bells about rising rates of sexually transmitted diseases, worried that kids aren’t getting the message. Sex education is more robust than it was for previous generations, but a 2012 Guttmacher Institute report revealed that while nearly 90% of high schools are teaching students about abstinence and STDs, fewer than 60% are providing lessons about contraception methods.
The CDC estimates that half of new STD infections occur among young people. Americans ages 15 to 24 contract chlamydia and gonorrhea at four times the rate of the general population, and those in their early 20s have the highest reported cases of syphilis and HIV. Young men and women are more likely than older people to report having no sex in the past year, yet those who are having sex are more likely to have multiple partners, which increases the risk of STDs.
“We need to do better as a nation,” says Laura Kann, an expert in youth risk behaviors at the CDC. “Far too many kids in this country continue to be infected with HIV and continue to be at risk.”
Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics urged high schools to make condoms available to students, citing STDs as a main concern.
Image: Condom, via Shutterstock
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AIDS, birth control, chlamydia, college students, condoms, gonorrhea, HIV, sex, STDs, teens | Categories:
Education, New Research, Parenting News, Trends
Monday, September 16th, 2013
A growing number of college students are buckling under the pressure of rising textbook costs–at a time when tuition and living expenses are already pushing many families’ finances to the limit. Textbook prices have been subject to triple-digit inflation, according to a new research report published by the US Public Interest Research Group. More from NBC News:
With the average student shelling out $1,200 a year just on books, students, professors and policy groups are searching for ways to circumvent the high cost of traditional textbooks.
It’s no simple multiple-choice question. Growing rental and e-book markets lower prices but come with a convenience cost. Budding open-source textbook programs hold promise but aren’t mainstream yet. Meanwhile, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group says 70 percent of students admit they just skip buying some books, saving money but often inflicting a high price on their academic success.
“It’s getting to the point where students can‘t afford them anymore,” said Nicole Allen, director of the open educational resources program at the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition. “It limits access they need to complete their education, which can undercut their ability to perform in class.”
The College Board found that the average student at a four-year public college spends $1,200 on “books and supplies,” or nearly $1,250 if they go to a private school. On the public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute, where he is a fellow, University of Michigan-Flint economics professor Mark J. Perry highlighted a chart showing an 812 percent increase in the cost of college textbooks since 1978, a jump even higher than the percentage growth in the cost of health care.
“Students are, in essence, a captive market,” said Ethan Senack, higher education associate at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. “The publishing industry is dominated by five companies that dominate upwards of 85 percent of the market.”
“I think part of it is the consolidation… There’s less competition now,” Perry said. “The other thing that irritates students and professors quite a bit is they’ve really sped up the publishing schedule,” with new editions coming out every couple of years.
Image: College textbooks, via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
College students do gain weight during their years on campus, new research from Ohio State University has found, but at nowhere near the levels that are notoriously associated with those first years away from home. The average student gained between 2.5 and 3.5 pounds during their freshman year, the study reports, but college-aged teens who are not attending school gained only a half pound less, leading researchers to associate weight gain with young adulthood, not the college experience.
The study — which used data from 7,418 young Americans who participated in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 — also found that women gained an average of 2.4 pounds (about one kilo) during their freshman year, while men gained an average of 3.4 pounds (about 1.5 kilos). No more than 10 percent of college freshman gained 15 pounds (6.8 kilos) or more — and a quarter of freshman reported actually losing weight during their first year.
Yet, college students did continue to gain weight steadily while in school, with women gaining between seven and nine pounds (3.17-4 kilos), and men gaining between 12 and 13 pounds (5.4-5.9 kilos). But the researchers noted that dorm living was not in fact to blame, debunking the myth that unlimited buffets and lack of parental supervision resulted in weight gain.
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“The ‘freshman 15′ is a media myth,” said Jay Zagorsky, co-author of the study, of a common catchphrase in the US regarding weight gain in your first year of college. “Most students don’t gain large amounts of weight. And it is not college that leads to weight gain — it is becoming a young adult.”
(image via: http://www.mynewplace.com/)
Friday, October 7th, 2011
A new study published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine finds that college students who post Facebook photos of themselves in heavy drinking situations, or who make frequent references to drinking in their Facebook postings are more likely to have actual drinking problems. The study concludes that clinicians (and parents) can apply “problem drinking” criteria when looking at a young person’s Facebook posts.
The students who were studied, whose average age was 18.8, scored 64 percent higher on the AUDIT scale, a clinical scale used to measure disordered alcohol use, if they displayed drinking photos or posts on Facebook. Those students were also more likely to have had an alcohol-related injury in the past year.
Researchers say that 1,700 alcohol-related deaths occur on college campuses each year. The study’s authors urge colleges to screen for alcohol abuse students who reference drinking on Facebook, which may raise privacy concerns for many.
(image via: http://thedailyrecord.com/)
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