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Early sex puts adolescents at high infection risk

Gorkha Post

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SEOUL — Teenagers who experience their first sex at an early age run a more serious danger of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) which includes diseases such as gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, HIV or other infection, warns a study.

Sexually transmitted infections are major causes of medical and psychological problems globally.

For the study, the researchers from Yonsei University in Seoul used data from a Korean national survey of youth risk behaviors that is conducted annually by the Korean Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Responses of 22,381 adolescents with sexual intercourse experience were included for the analysis.

Approximately 7.4 percent of boys and 7.5 percent of girls reported having STI. The researchers found that for both boys and girls, the chance of experiencing STIs increased as the age of first sexual intercourse decreased.

“This study shows that earlier initiation of sexual intercourse increases the odds of experiencing STIs,” the researchers said.

“Also as the age gap gets shorter, the odds of experiencing STIs increase. Our study suggests that it is important to consider the time period of first sexual intercourse and to reinforce a monitoring system along with the development of other preventive strategies,” the study said.

Compared to teens who had first intercourse in 12th grade, those whose first experience was in seventh grade were three times more likely to have had an STI, youthhealthmag.com reported.

The findings appeared in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

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Excess use of social media may lead to depression and loneliness

Raghu Kshitiz

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Excessive use of social media like Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram could lead to depression and loneliness as this habit is associated with poor well-being,researchers have warned.

A new study, being published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, showed that limiting screen time on these apps could boost one’s wellness.

The study has tried to look into the causal side of things, and see whether people may actually feel better when they cut down on social media.

“Our findings strongly suggest that limiting social media use to approximately 30 minutes per day may lead to significant improvement in well-being,” the authors concluded.

“When you are not busy getting sucked into clickbait social media, you are actually spending more time on things that are more likely to make you feel better about your life,” said Melissa Hunt, associate director of clinical training at the University of Pennsylvania in the US.

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For the study, researchers from the varsity, included 143 undergraduate participants. The team designed their experiment to include the three platforms most popular with the participants.

They monitored the students for a week to get a baseline reading of their social media use, and gave them questionnaires that assessed their well-being according to seven different factors: social support, fear of missing out (aka FOMO), loneliness, autonomy and self-acceptance (a measure of psychological well-being), anxiety, depression, and self-esteem.

They collected objective usage data automatically tracked by iPhones for active apps, not those running in the background, and asked respondents to complete a survey to determine mood and well-being.

“Using less social media than you normally would leads to significant decreases in both depression and loneliness. These effects are particularly pronounced for folks who were more depressed when they came into the study,” Hunt told Science Daily.

The researchers chose to limit social media, rather than have subjects stop using it altogether, because it was a more realistic option, she noted.

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