A new study suggests that most single Canadians between the ages of 40 and 59 are not practicing safe sex by using condoms. The study by a University of Guelph researcher found that of all Canadian men in this age group, 65 per cent did not use condoms nor did 72 per cent of women.
‘A significant rise in the STI rate’
“Many single sexually active adult Canadians underestimate their risk of STIs (sexually-transmitted infections) in part because they’re not aware of how common they are and because they don’t know that most STI cases have no symptoms so you can’t always tell if you or your partner has an infection,” said study co-author Robin Milhausen in a news release. “This is worrisome because we are seeing a significant rise in the STI rate in this age group.”
Over half of singles not worried
She thinks that for Canadians in their late teens, sex education messages, pregnancy and the risk of STIs are top of mind and that may prompt them to use condoms more. Individuals in committed relationships, he says, are least likely to use a condom. “They feel because they are in a relationship characterized by love and trust that they aren’t at risk for STIs, which is a fallacy.”
The researchers surveyed 2,400 people and found 58 per cent of single respondents who were single were not very or not at all concerned about contracting an STI. The study was conducted in partnership with the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada and a division of the makers of Trojan condoms. It was published in The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality.