Gonorrhea infections among American teens 33 times higher than among Dutch teens

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According to a study by Amy Chalet, 0.5 percent of all US teens aged 15-19 catch gonorrhea, whereas among Dutch teens the number is almost a statistical error (0.01 %).

There might be epidemiological reasons for the large discrepancy, but the evidence points elsewhere: Chalet’s study also shows “dramatic differences between the US and the Netherlands in rates of contraceptive use, teen pregnancy, abortion, and STI transmission”, as Lisa Wade writes (the American sociologist, not the Dutch TV personality).

Wade’s angle is that the Dutch (and Western Europeans) treat (teenage) sex as normal, not as ‘the nasty’, and that Dutch teenagers (therefore?) use condoms and contraceptives where their American peers do not. “Accordingly, most American teenagers hide their virginity loss from their parents, furtively popping the cherry in risky situations, often without protection against pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In contrast, most Dutch teenagers lose their virginity in their own bedrooms with their parents’ approval… and condoms.”

Americans can find comfort in the fact that according to some of their leading thinkers, “the way they do the statistics in the Netherlands is different”.

Link: Martin Wisse.

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