|Birth control remains most popular contraceptive|
|Written by Shelley Singler, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Monday, 31 January 2011 19:33|
According to the New York Times, research shows that the rates of women using birth control and contraception have slightly increased within the past several years.
The National Center for Health Statistics reported the results after conducting 80-minute interviews with 7,346 women ages 15 to 44. The study took place between July 2006 and December 2008.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 61.8 percent of the women interviewed used contraception, up 6.1 percent from statistics collected in 1982. Seventeen percent were using the birth control pill, up 1.4 percent from studies also conducted in 1982.
Women who used female sterilization also increased to 16.7 percent, up 3.8 percent, and 10 percent of women relied on using a condom, compared to 6.7 percent in the past.
Despite the changes, male sterilization remains at 6.1 percent.
“It’s typical of what we tend to see in our society. We still talk about pregnancy prevention, that it is still more of the woman’s responsibility … even though I think we tend to see more males coming to the G-spot to get condoms. We are seeing more males taking a responsibility,” Jim Almeda, coordinator of peer education at Health Promotion and Wellness, said.
The studies also revealed that contraceptive use varied by race. Research indicated that 64.7 percent of white women and 63.9 percent of Asian women used birth control, compared to 58.5 percent of Hispanic women and 54.5 percent of black women.
“Contraceptive use can vary according to cultural and religious beliefs and also relating to access to medical care, which can be dictated by various socioeconomic factors,” Dr. Jean Swearingen, medical director at Student Health Services, said.
“Mostly it falls back to a lack of access — they can’t afford the health care, they don’t have the health insurance, so it’s more difficult for them to be able to utilize,” Almeda said.
Despite the statistics for different demographics, Swearingen believes the slight increase in usage rates may be due to overall access.
“From my experience, contraception has become much more acceptable and expected. More information about contraception is available to everyone now,” Swearingen said.
Through Health Promotion and Wellness, the American College Health Association conducts a survey every two years. The survey, called the National College Health Assessment, has been conducted about five times over the last 10 years.
According to the last survey conducted at ISU, most students use birth control at 70 percent with condoms being the second most popular choice at 64 percent. Other contraceptive forms, such as spermicides, foams, jellies and fertility awareness usage, were all at less than 10 percent.
“Our statistics are similar to what we see nationally. On our campus, the birth control pill and condoms are the two primary forms that most of our students use,” Almeda said.
The next survey is scheduled to be sometime this semester. Unlike the National Center for Health Statistics research, this survey addresses the men as well as women.