ONE News 7 Sep 2012
University students have long been stereotyped as promiscuous – and new research shows it to be true. A study in the New Zealand Medical Journal has found having multiple sexual partners was common and only half of university students used a condom the last time they had sex. The University of Otago research surveyed the sexual health of 2922 students aged 17 to 24 from universities nationwide. It found 20% of respondents reported at least three partners in the last 12 months. Around 10% reported having sex with between 10 and 20 people and 3% reported more than 20 sexual partners. Out of those surveyed 32% had been drinking when they last had sex. Almost half of the respondents reported at least three sexual partners in their lives.
The study said condom use was “uncommon and inversely associated” with the number of recent sexual partners. “The prevalence of risky sexual behaviours in this population raises concern about the number of students at risk of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies,” it said.
In 2009, New Zealand’s chlamydia rate was three to four times higher than Australia and the UK, it said. In total, 155 people, or 11%, reported having sex that resulted in an unintentional pregnancy. Of those, 74% of women and 72% of men said the pregnancy was terminated but 19% of men did not know the outcome of the pregnancy. “One in 20 students had, or contributed to, at least one unintentional pregnancy,” it said.