Utah has record numbers of STDs

State plans campaign to raise awareness of chlamydia, gonorrhea


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  • Ashley
    May 26, 2009 1:20 p.m.

    Please don't assume that people who claim to be virgins when they get married actually are. There are more young couples having premarital sex than you would care to know.
    Each generation is different, and their attitudes to sex change. I always hear parents saying my children were all chaste when they married. Ummmmm, I spoke to a lot of young married couples and they had no trouble admitting that they had premarital sex. When they are home among their family they are one way, and away from them, they are another. I had premarital sex, and I had no intention of marrying anyone so I could have sex. Alot of people do, and when their parents think that something might be going on, they push them into marriage. I enjoyed my life, didn't get pregnant or an STD. I am now happily married.
    I will not teach my children abstinace, but provide education, resources, respect for their bodies and what they need to do to protect themselves. Some people live in fantasy land, and make out everything is all OK.

    Some LDS kid do take drugs and have sex. They are no different than the rest.

  • John
    May 12, 2009 6:20 p.m.

    For everyone here that complains about this being a recent thing, or one that came from "outsiders", remember that during World Wars I and II, posters had to be distributed to GIs, warning them about what was then called VD.

    This is nothing new - it's just that instead of being warned (e.g. by posters), no one is preparing these kids.

    Google "world war ii std poster" if you're curious.

  • Frank
    May 5, 2009 1:09 p.m.

    How have I had the luck to only live in shielded parts of Utah? Does anyone else feel like this?

    I keep getting told that Utah is crazy high in pill abuse, suicide, porn addiction, poligamy, and now STD's but I just dont see it. I keep meeting more and more people but all I've run into is meth and rampant pyramid schemes.

    Now when I lived outside of Utah in the "regular world" I knew people with STD problems, drug abuse, lost a friend to suicide, and porn issues, but I guess I was just living in all the wrong spots there.

  • Childs point of view
    May 5, 2009 9:34 a.m.

    I agree with our children being taught all of the ways to prevent. But, seriously, if my Stake President or parents made a comment like, "I want you to practice abstinence, but if you do chose to have sex before marriage do this." I would have never made it to marriage. The world can teach me those outside things and believe me I knew, but my parents and religious leaders needed to stick to their guns. Please Stake Presidents do not go down the if you choose road, children get that everywhere else. Love them once they make the mistake, don't condone it before it is done.

  • San Francisco
    May 5, 2009 9:21 a.m.

    It's because Salt Lake City is now San Francisco.

  • Anonymous
    May 4, 2009 2:11 p.m.

    To spindoctors,

    What kind of stupid idiot would possibly disagree with the reasonable comment by "Stake President"? What kind of ignorant fool thinks an intelligent response is "I doubt you are one."

    Are you daft man?

  • Early sex ed
    May 4, 2009 10:52 a.m.

    I taught my children about sex every time they asked a question, so they knew quite a bit when they were 5 years old and even more when they were 10. I didn't go into a lot of detail that was unnecessary to answer their questions but made it clear that they could ask me anything without fear of embarrassment. As far as I know, none took part in premarital sexual intercourse, but they are humans like anybody else and were certainly subject to making mistakes. I do not consider protected sex outside marriage as a harmless physical activity, believing it is damaging to the psyche and the soul. My children all believe that a person should wait for marriage to take part in sex, and they are teaching their children the same way. I'm not saying it would be impossible for my children or grandchildren to catch an STD; but I would wager their chances of contracting any sexually transmitted disease are far, far lower than for the children and grandchildren of my more permissive friends.

  • Rich
    May 4, 2009 10:44 a.m.

    The increasing incidence of STDs in Utah has nothing to do with the Mormon Church, in which every child is taught to abstain from premarital sexual activity. Naturally, being human, many LDS kids still succumb to temptation. While many non-LDS children also are taught similarly, many others imitate their parents' behavior, seeing nothing wrong with premarital sex. Some of these kids use condoms; others don't. But for this survey to be useful, it needs to indicate the rates of STD transmission among active LDS kids, non-active LDS kids and non-LDS kids, as well as kids who attend no church at all.

  • Doodles
    May 4, 2009 9:52 a.m.

    I believe that when a young adult,age 16-24, is caught in the situation where it is possible to have sex, their emotions are not stable or predictable. Many of them follow the emotional rollercoaster ride of infatuation: a perilous up and down spin of euphoria, degradation, self-depreciation, omniscience, and belligerence. Careful and thoughtful planning are not exactly characteristic of the the teenage model.

    Kids who received sex education and were taught moral values, and kids with caring and careful parents have a better chance of successfully navigating these years of impulsive behavior. Does that mean none of these children will choose lightly, emotionally, or be caught in a difficult situation? No. It means that their parents and teachers have tried to prepare them for situations they will encounter with realistic scientific, moral and physical information.

    STD's are a serious consequence of irresponsible behavior. Teenagers are famous for irresponsible behavior. The trap is complicated and tough to avoid. Trying to protect young people from such traps with education, positive experiences that build self-esteem, and morality standards that refuse to cave in the idea that "anything goes", are three ways adults can try to help our kids.

  • Bender Rodriguez
    May 4, 2009 9:36 a.m.

    re: John Charity Spring | 8:12 a.m. May 1, 2009

    >>There was a time when schools were not afraid to teach values such as chastity, morality, honesty, and respect for others.

  • Anonymous
    May 3, 2009 11:12 p.m.

    Here's another bit of information, if 18 yo and 19 yo women have the morning after pill, EVERY teen will be able to buy those pills....EASILY.
    As easy as a young adult buying beer for their friends.

  • Pelosi/Obama logic
    May 3, 2009 9:55 p.m.

    Though the spread of STDs is a terrible health problem, Washington is coming to the rescue! They have lowered the age that teenage girls can get the morning after pill. Brilliant!!

  • Anonymous
    May 3, 2009 3:11 p.m.

    Stay ignorant on sex....and DIE.
    THIS is no time to not give your children the BEST scientific and medically sound sex information.
    Information doesn't kill, IGNORANCE KILLS.

  • let me say this
    May 3, 2009 1:40 p.m.

    I raised my two kids back east. They went through the sex education classes that the school system offered. They taught abstinance, protected sex, oral sex, masturbation and much more! EVERYTHING was covered. If they asked me questions I would answer and if they didn't that was O.K. also. When my oldest went through the class she never wanted to talk about it. My youngest couldn't wait to tell me what she had learned. They were both girls. Both of them are now young adults that are married and have only had one partner, THEIR SPOUSE! So teaching kids ALL about sex doesn't make them want to go out and do it. It's the values they are taught at home and peer influences that affect their choices. I also worked in the high school and was able to attend the health class with students who need help with work. The teacher taught EVERYTHING in a caring and sensitive way. LET THE KIDS LEARN.
    Now am I going to be called a Liberal or bad Morman. I am a meber of the church and my kids learned 90% of their values at HOME!

  • Re: @ re: rates are down...
    May 1, 2009 10:52 p.m.

    The incidence rates only peaked in 1975. Then they reached a plateau for the next few years.

    They didn't start seriously declining until the mid-1980's, when it became obvious to everyone that sleeping with anonymous partners would not only put you at risk for a painful infection of the urinary tract but could also kill you.

    And as far as gonorrhea is concerned, the average incidence rates during the "idyllic" 1950's were lower than the average rates during the 1940's, 1960's, 1970's, 1980's and even 1990's.

    Getting back to the main point, if the argument that abstinence-based sex ed is worthless in preventing STDs were valid, one would expect prudish Utah to have the highest rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia in the nation. That is clearly not the case.

  • Anonymous
    May 1, 2009 10:09 p.m.

    Utah: you might want to get rid of that terrible radio sex show out of California...I visited and turned on the radio on a Friday or Saturday night and couldn't believe how vile it was.

  • @ re: rates are down...
    May 1, 2009 9:56 p.m.

    What do the 60s and 70s have to do with it? What I'm against is the idealization of the 50s as somehow idyllic before we entered the sexual revolution. The main point is, where do we stand post-sexual revolution as compared to before? It seems we're actually better off.

    Also, it's interesting that you point out how the rate of gonorrhea reached a peak in about 1975 and has steadily declined since then. This is very true. It's also true that this is about the time that comprehensive (as opposed to abstinence-only) sex education began gaining traction in the United States paired with advances in condom effectiveness and promotion. I'm not going to say it caused it, that would require a lot more research and data, but it's an interesting observation nonetheless.

  • Close the schools
    May 1, 2009 9:21 p.m.

    Now if they're really looking for a reason to close the schools, this is it. This is much more serious stuff than the swine flu.

  • The wonder of abstinance
    May 1, 2009 9:17 p.m.

    As a doctor told a group of STD carriers, "If you choose to have sex with someone, you have sex with everyone they ever had sex with". STDs, the gift that keeps on giving!!! Be smart, be abstinate!

  • Here is great idea
    May 1, 2009 9:01 p.m.

    Add a special tax to people who have STD's! Make them pay to play so to speak! After all, they are serious threat to the health of the nation and they drive up health care costs! We could use the money to pay off the national debt!

  • In praise of ignorance
    May 1, 2009 8:35 p.m.

    The claim that Sex Ed makes young people promiscuous is absurd. It is analogous to claiming that teaching the physics of gravity makes people jump off bridges. If kids want to hook up, they will. Why are people proud that they keep their kids ignorant and vulnerable? We need more science and less superstition, more reality and less kooky political symbolism.

  • To: Abstinence Only Education
    May 1, 2009 7:12 p.m.

    Abstinence works for a very small minority of people that truly want to adhere to that principle and are mentally tough enough to actually reach that goal.

    For everyone else, you'd better have a pretty good understanding of sex ed.

    Lucky for me, my wife and I are in the first group that abstained until marriage. I've never worried about getting an STD and I am very confident that I never will. It feels great to never have to worry about contracting the AIDS virus!

    My kids will be informed and make an educated decision, whatever that turns out to be. I will not allow them to use ignorance and parental uninvolvement as excuses for mistakes they might end up making.

  • C.L.Nelson
    May 1, 2009 7:08 p.m.

    There are wonderful valiant youth in this state of Utah! Whether members or not, it's the minority (few) that take the wrong pathway to exploration. Our youth have much thrown at them nowadays. Many unwanted pregnancies leave a family feeling remorseful and guilty for decades as well as the victim. With BOTH parents working out of the home due our political system, children are raising themselves or having strangers do so. There's a reason to believe we're in a "have pleasure" society giving the devil his throne of glory on earth. If the spirit of the Lord is in our homes and our children feel the love, they will respect their bodies and not abuse it in any way. What a few do in private makes no sense to the thousands who are decent in their choices. One cannot blame the younger generation for mistakes. I would tell my kids and grand kids: "Don't Die Dumb!" That means all of us! (The three D's!) Guilt happens when bad choices are made any time. Think, think, think before you leap! Having premarital sex is no more than a sneeze! Why waste it needlessly?

  • Abstinence Only Education
    May 1, 2009 5:25 p.m.

    Teaching abstinence only works extremely well. Whatever you do, do not teach sexual education or make contraception available, along with encouraging abstinence. Just keep pretending your kids will never have sex. It is working extremely well.

  • Re: Rates are down...
    May 1, 2009 5:13 p.m.

    Clever, very clever.

    But as usual for people who make that argument, you have left out the numbers from the "Free Love '60s" and "Swingin' '70s", when the mantras of "Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll" and "If it feels good, do it!" help cause the rates of all STDs to skyrocket.

    For example, by 1955 the rate for gonorrhea had declined from relatively high wartime levels to a level comparable to today, but then rapidly increased starting in 1965 to a rate of 467.7 per 100,000 in 1975.

    It has only been during the past decade that the gonorrhea rate has declined to levels seen back in the '50s.

    Even so, the current gonorrhea rate in Utah is several times lower than even the lowest US rate, and has been for decades.

  • spindoctors
    May 1, 2009 4:53 p.m.

    To Stake President-I doubt you are one.
    To Anon. and all other critics, Utah LDS do defend themselves regarding articles like these because if it's a negative report on Utah, you are the first to assume it's LDS related. Then you tell us to "get over ourselves" when we make such clarifications as pointing out the dimishing percentage of LDS in Utah. If it's a positive article, we better not "assume" it's LDS related because you quickly point out the truly low percentage of LDS that even live in Utah anymore.
    Solution-Stop reading and commenting on every LDS related article that comes up and live the life that you think is above reproach. Or perhaps put your real name on your blog so your friends and co-workers can fill us in on your true colors.

  • Re: Are you serious
    May 1, 2009 4:53 p.m.

    Yes, those STD numbers for different states can be directly compared to each other because they are expressed as number of cases per 100,000 population, not absolute number of cases.

    Which, incidentally, is why the CDC does it that way in the first place: To allow direct comparision of STD infections in states that might be completely different in terms of population and demographics.

  • liverpool1
    May 1, 2009 4:50 p.m.

    (This is a problem everywhere, even here in Britain)

    New data shows that cases of the infection have risen 21% in men and 16% in women from 2006 to 2007. 3745 chlamydia infections were reported in men in 2006 increasing to 4541 in 2007. 4557 chlamydia infections were reported in women in 2006 increasing to 5291 in 2007. The figures have been released to coincide with the Agencys new report Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and Young People in the UK 2008.

    The total number of new STIs diagnosed in the East of England in 2007 has risen by 9% in the last year (2006/07). The greatest burden of STIs continues to fall among young people (aged 16 to 24 years). Despite representing just 11% of the population, this age group was diagnosed with 67% of all new chlamydia cases, 54% of all genital warts and 49% of all gonorrhoea cases in 2007. Chlamydia remains the most commonly diagnosed STI in the region with 9,832 new cases reported in 2007.

  • Go read.............
    May 1, 2009 4:44 p.m.

    This is Utah culture at its best. This has been going on since 1847. If you have multiple partners you had better plan on getting a sexual transmitted disease.

    It might help to learn self control.

  • For: 10:43 Comment
    May 1, 2009 4:41 p.m.

    "@truth will make.... | 10:43 a.m. May 1, 2009 -
    Will it make you free from sanctimony?"

    "Sanctimony" means "hypocritical holiness".

    I was talking about obeying God's laws of sexual purity and nothing else and you then call me a hypocrit.

    However, how would you know if I obey God's commandments regarding sexuality or not?

    I do, by the way, so I am not hypocritical in this regard.

    The choice you make to obey or not obey God's commands is up to you, but we are not free to choose the consequences of our choices (no matter what foolish liberals say) and the comparative weight of obedience or disobedience is easy for any to see if one will just open their eyes.

  • another line
    May 1, 2009 4:25 p.m.

    another line of thought

    for anyone who has been in bishoprics and gets to know what members come to repent about...

    sex outside the bonds of marriage ---

    Who are you kidding Mormons?

    if you deny, you are LIARS so stop it with your holier than thou. You are fooling no one, not even you believe your own lies, so stop preaching as if you were 100% chaste.

  • sure...
    May 1, 2009 4:15 p.m.

    Anonymous | 7:28 a.m. May 1, 2009

    Right... Mormons never get any STD's. Yep, it's all those non-Mormons who are catchign the diseases like crazy.


    For that matter, don't test any Mormons for STD's, if they are Mormon, they're STD-free, simple as that.

  • @ "Love Child", "Stake Pres"
    May 1, 2009 4:09 p.m.

    No, actually unmarried sex and married sex do NOT have the same risk factor ... if you only have sex with one person in your life, who also waited and only had sex with you, the risk of you catching an STD is ABSOLUTE ZERO. As in IMPOSSIBLE.

    You get nowhere near those results with condoms. They have scarily high failure rates because they can tear or you can forget about them just once. I have seen failure rate statistics as high as 30% - even if that isn't correct, just 5% is still a lot higher than the 0% risk with abstinence.

    To parents like "Stake President," I know you have your kids' best interests at heart but please, please, PLEASE don't fool yourselves - there is no such thing as "safe" outside the commandments God has set forth. Period. Man-made "protections" simply fail too often. And they don't address the emotional and spiritual damage done. Make sure when your kids are "educated about safe sexual practices" they find that out, too.

  • Anonymous
    May 1, 2009 3:49 p.m.

    60 percent of the people in ut are lds, so i'm
    to believe that the 40 percent that aren't are
    the one's who do all the crime, have sex before
    marriage, kill babies, sex offender's, drug taker's,
    kill themsleve's, run away, sure they are. people
    of ut, stop living your lie's.

  • To the person...
    May 1, 2009 3:47 p.m.

    To the person who said, "Let them do it, it is not hurting anything." I ask, is your middle name Valtrex?

  • Myles
    May 1, 2009 3:45 p.m.

    I have a question, Is society becoming more moral or less moral? I say less moral. Some commentors on here say,"Let the kids do it, it isn't hurting anyone." It is hurting someone. There is not just physical problems that can occur, but emotional ones can be equally devestating. When someone on here comments, "let them do it, it's not hurting anyone." I visualize a big, fat lazy slob who wishes they could have sex. Repsonsible people abstain until they are married in my humble opinion.
    Of course, those who think they should have everything now will not agree. They are probably some of the ones who have prescriptions they take for the "rotting diseases." Teaching restaint in alot of things goes a long way to having a better society.

  • Sam
    May 1, 2009 3:34 p.m.

    Parents have the primary responsibility for teaching their children. Churches and schools are secondary to my way of thinking. I think it is stupid to blame or even care the religion or ethnicity of the people who are having problems. If the problem is occuring in Utah, which it is, then its all of Utahs problem. The problem with many of these threads is that people want to point fingers or slam some group. Lets take on the problem, not each other. By the way, Abstinence never hurt anyone, while doing it has hurt many young people, both physically and emotionally.

  • Captain Kirk
    May 1, 2009 3:33 p.m.

    @ Abstinence is best | 8:50 a.m
    @ Time for some facts | 9:08 a.m
    Thanks for some sane comments!

    No place is exempt from these kinds of problems. It is good to see that our community actually has a much lower rate than many others. The low rate is most likely a result of parenting not school programs.

    I believe parenting and family are largely being devalued in our society. Pre-marital sex is pushed in every form of entertainment and in our popular culture. This is what leads to higher rates.

    Everyone cries for schools to teach kids values and safe sex. It is really the parents that need to do this. The #1 predictor of a student doing well is good support at home.

    I also think it is funny that so many think LDS are sexually repressed. That they bury there heads in the sand and don't teach their kids about sex.

    I have not met very many "repressed" LDS people.

    LDS & other religious homes do teach there kids about sex as much or maybe even more than everyone else. They also set standards which they HOPE their children will follow.

  • Chester
    May 1, 2009 3:06 p.m.

    The article did say Utahans! So what percentage of Utah is mormon?? I figured about 70%. So, its not the mexicans, and gays and blacks, its Mormons to.
    So if Std's are up 50%, I would suggest people in Utah start teaching sex education, handing out condoms, trust me clamydia and gonorraha aren't fun to deal with. Mormons run the state, most of the people in Utah are mormon, so you do the math!

  • concerned
    May 1, 2009 2:36 p.m.

    The ad campaign is said to be frank, so here's my simple catch phrase: "keep your frank in your pants, AVOID STD'S"

  • re Wasatch Front
    May 1, 2009 2:27 p.m.

    Hate to break it to you, but SLC makes up but a small corner of the Wasatch Front, not to mention less than a 10th of it's population (Wasatch Front--2.1 Million, SLC less than 200,000.)

  • Anonymous
    May 1, 2009 2:24 p.m.

    Let's face it it's all those NON-mormons trying prove how NON-mormon they are.

    It's quite disingenuous to blame abstinenece education or mormons for all these problems.

  • Rates are down from 50s
    May 1, 2009 2:16 p.m.

    For those of you lamenting the slide from the good old days of the 50s when abstinence was taught, etc. check out the CDC's web site. In 1950 the rate for Gonorrhea was 192.5 per 100,000. In 2007 it was 118.9 per 100,000. Also, syphilis was at 146.0 in 1950, and in 2007 was 13.7. It seems that despite the recent rise, we've actually improved the situation with STDs. (note: Chlamydia wasn't recorded until 1984 so I can't use it as a standard)

  • magnus
    May 1, 2009 2:15 p.m.

    remarkable how fast these discussions turn into a LDS/ANTI-LDS food fight.

    I want to thank "TIME FOR SOME FACTS"...

    Remarkable how everyone just ignores the information that is most relevant and continues to make the same old tired arguments based on their own version of "Truthiness".

    There are two things that should be said though.

    First is a proven fact that broad-spectrum (including abstinence, contraceptive usage and provision, and consequence education) programs to combat STD's and unwanted pregnacies have been proven effective at LOWERING (not stopping) the incedence of those conditions. It is also a proven fact that narrow-spectrum approaches (like abstinance only, or just handing out contraception) have little to no effect on the rates of those conditions.

    And second, just because Utahs STD rate is lower than other states, doesn't mean that it isn't a problem. Both sides of this argument need to stop being stupid and start finding solutions.

  • @reality check
    May 1, 2009 2:13 p.m.

    you can't even stand up to your own argument...that's like telling them not to bungee jump until they can be intelligent. Let's face it, a lot of people NEVER reach a point in their lives where they start making intelligent, well thought out choices.

  • to Stake President
    May 1, 2009 2:10 p.m.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • What?
    May 1, 2009 1:38 p.m.

    I thought this was was about Short Term Disability...

  • Problem Solved
    May 1, 2009 1:34 p.m.

    Invent a pill that stiffles hormones. When a person marries, they go off the pill. Until then, humans are going to act like humans. Remember the conservative studies that show young men think about sex once every 5 minutes. It's the way God made us. Those who preach self control don't remember their youth. I certainly do and it was great!

  • Stake President
    May 1, 2009 1:02 p.m.

    I certainly don't speak for the LDS Church with this comment but think it is extremely important to talk about. First, those members who think this is only a non-member issue are completely incorrect. We unfortunately have a high rate of youth pregnancies and STDs in the LDS Church.

    For me, I strongly advise my children to remain chaste (abstinent) while dating. But I also make sure they are educated about safe sexual practices so that if they choose to be sexual they will both protect themselves, their partner, and a potential spirit not yet ready to be here on earth. I would like to see my children remain pure and save themselves for marriage. But if they do engage is sexual activity I would like them to be safe and feel like they can come to me for support and guidance through the repentance process.

  • re: Time for some facts
    May 1, 2009 12:40 p.m.

    "Time for some facts"

    That was by far the most intelligent comment posted so far. It is amusing too to see how many attacked you for it.

    You and Screen Age have it right: while no where seems to have it perfect, the facts seem to favor areas that teach abstinence, and this whole issue has become politicized.

    Most of the comments here have lost sight of the people affected.

    This problem is far broader than what may or may not be taught in schools.

    Society's double standard is confusing, especially for young people.

    We decry violence when it appears in the news, for example, but pay to see it in our movies and television. And our media sends equally mixed messages when it comes to sex as well.

    I can appreciate that many homes are not what they should be, but schools cannot replace them, nor overcome the quantity and quality of messages kids are getting daily from other sources when it comes to teaching kids about safe sex or abstinence.

    We can hotly debate the issue, but probably whatever the schools are doing, it isn't nor can it be enough either way.

    May 1, 2009 12:39 p.m.

    PEOPLE! Leave to all you to turn an article about increased disease into a pointing the finger match. Who freaking cares who is to blame, just DO something about it. Educate your own children the way you see fit. Stop complaining. And shut up.

  • Anonymous
    May 1, 2009 11:53 a.m.

    Why is everyone here trying so hard to blame somebody?

  • Educator
    May 1, 2009 11:52 a.m.

    Look, it's a combination of strategies with our kids and even then they'll go a direction that sometimes leaves us scratching our heads. Where did we go wrong we ask?

    I didn't mean to suggest that the "fifties" were ideal either. They weren't. The poster above who cited spousal abuse being kept quiet, race issues which were certainly onerous...all kinds of societal issues were unresolved nor discussed.

    All I'm saying is some notion of "old-fashioned" beliefs like abstinence are just one part of a total picture. There aren't a lot of parents who will talk about sex with their kids. They do so at their peril. Maybe sex ed doesn't help in the long run either but at least the information has to be put out there for kids. They need to know that the choices they make aren't done so in a vacuum. If they get AIDS or an STD what they have done will ultimately affect others because their lives impact others - family, friends etc. Teach them that. Between all of the strategies something's going to stick.

  • Teaching takes time
    May 1, 2009 11:47 a.m.

    Teaching about sex ed needs to come in small doses and before they hit puberty. We don't ignore math until kids hit junior high or high school and then throw it all at them and expect them to understand it.

    Teaching is the key, communication is vital, but if we wait until they "grow up" to start it will be to late.

    On the flip side, they don't need to know everything by the time they are four either.

  • KM
    May 1, 2009 11:45 a.m.

    Anonymous, shut up already! Abstinence did work for me and its a fact that it works better than fooling around.
    First line of defence is abstinence. second is parents teaching an understanding of std's and responsibilities that come with acting like adults, like; babies, mortgages, bills etc.

  • re John Charity Spring 8:12 a.m
    May 1, 2009 11:27 a.m.

    ["It is no wonder that the number of STDs in up. Our public education system has been so terrorized by those that preach political correctness that the schools have abandoned teaching the old fashioned values that made this Country great and made society strong. There was a time when schools were not afraid to teach values such as chastity, morality, honesty, and respect for others. Now that the schools are afraid to do so, disease, drug use, and crime are increasing at an alarming rate."]

    welcome to our planet. sorry the 1800s passed you by.... how's the temperance league these days?

  • to -Anonymous | 7:50 a.m
    May 1, 2009 11:23 a.m.

    ["Isnt it just amazing that WHEREVER the topic of "sex" comes up, the most vocal blabbering to jump in and sound off are those who delight in belittling and snickering at any segment of the population who ATTEMPTS to retain the HIGHEST standards of behavior? "Abstinance" receives gigantic belittlement in every imagionable form."]

    that's because to only teach abstinence is like being an ostrich and sticking your head in the sand. Kids will have sex, and if you don't teach them safety, they are going to get hurt.

    You would rather wish for your morals to be followed rather than help your child be safe.

  • re - Anonymous | 7:28 a.m
    May 1, 2009 11:20 a.m.

    ["No, all is probably just fine in Zion"]

    is that your name for mormon Utah? Zion?

    I thought it was from the movie "The Matrix"... or eldorado texas....

  • realitycheck
    May 1, 2009 11:18 a.m.

    to - DUH | 7:22 a.m
    ["Delaying sexual activity until marriage is not impossible, millions of us managed it without any permanent damage."]

    huh? why should people wait to do something that's fun and can be done safely? That's like saying don't bungee-jump until you're married.... it's fun, can be done relatively safely, why should people wait?

    teach your kids to at least wait until they can make intelligent decisions about how to do it and who to do it with (like 17 or 18 yrs old), and teach them how to be safe, but to just say "don't until you're married" is ridiculous and dangerous...

  • False Conclusions
    May 1, 2009 11:12 a.m.

    What is all this talk against teaching abstinence. Reality check! Most the United States still has greater problems with STDs than Utah, and they teach sex ed in all its forms. The findings don't back up these outlandish claims.

    There is nothing wrong with teaching abstinence. Teaching abstinence does not mean that we can't teach children everything they need to know about sex, either. It is a false conclusion to assume that a child who was taught abstinence did not learn everything about condoms, STDs, and human sexuality that any other child was taught.

    The key is to teach everything, and let the child choose for themselves the only method that is fool proof--which a responsible adult would advocate--and that is abstinence. Get your facts straight and quit drawing illegitimate conclusions.

  • Karl is disheartened
    May 1, 2009 11:01 a.m.

    1) about all the people who apparently have no confidence in the ability of a teenager to wait to have sex (truth is, people wait all the time)

    2) about all the people who apparently think that talking about sex and health will corrupt minds (truth is, the right dialog at the right time is a wonderful tool; the devil, of course, is in the details, which is why I personally don't trust Sex Ed. programs in school)

    3) about all the people who are too busy rehashing stereotypes to really look at the facts ("prudish & repressive" Mormons, "corrupt Gentiles" in SLC; Utah with one of the lowest rates of STDs nationally)

    A lot of people need to step back and take a deep breath.

    I am, however, thankful for the right and power I have to address these issues in my own family in my own way. There are plenty of false ideologies out there, and I'm glad I've got about sixteen years with each of my kids to try to teach them truth and prepare them for healthy, happy lives.

  • Jeffrey
    May 1, 2009 10:48 a.m.

    You've gotta love attitudes like those of "Truth Will Make Us Free" above. The ideal is fantastic, but you have to be realistic about the fact that many, or most, people will not reach it!

    That attitude is nothing more than pretentious self-righteous posturing. If you were a runner would you coach kids with the attitude of, "You should never fall. Only weak people fall. If you fall you're weak, and it's your own fault, no sympathy here."? Or how about as a parent with your children, "Getting less than an A on any exam or homework or final is unacceptable. Only dumb and weak kids receive lower than an A. Enjoy your lower grades." I would hope you would not!

    The ideal is fine to teach as a goal to reach, but only if you also are understanding and realistic and prepare people for the mistakes and imperfections they WILL encounter along the way. Anything less is doing far more harm than any good self-righteousness can engender.

  • @truth will make....
    May 1, 2009 10:43 a.m.

    Will it make you free from sanctimony?

  • The Truth Will Make Us Free
    May 1, 2009 10:28 a.m.

    Liberals mock the LDS church's guidelines of sexual activity, often referred to as the Law of Chastity, saying it is too restrictive and therefore foolish.

    And yet Jesus Christ said that obeying the truth, i.e., God's laws, would make us "free".

    Free from what?

    Oh, I don't know, how about free from STDs?

    Free from infertility.

    Free from physical pain.

    Free from embarassment.

    Free from guilt.

    Free from spreading disease to others.

    Free from spending your hard earned money on STD treatments.

    Wow, that freedom sounds awful, doesn't it?

    Give me God's counsel any day.

    Enjoy your STD...

  • Are you serious
    May 1, 2009 10:22 a.m.

    Are you really gonna compare the sex ed and the disease percentage of utah to California. There are 38 million people living in the state of california and a mcuh more diverse enviroment. So you can stop comparing apples to oranges. Aren't you supposed to be this different or "Peculia"r people. The truth is that utahns are conformists. They do only what is convenient to them and religon. Go to Utah and see for yourself. Why do you think that outsiders have such negative and odd experiences there.

  • For: 7:11
    May 1, 2009 10:20 a.m.

    "Anonymous | 7:11 a.m. May 1, 2009 - All is not well in Zion..."

    Hey Einstein, while I admit it's doubtful that not every LDS member follows God's law of sexual conduct, isn't it a bit presumptious to assume that all of the people in UT with STDs belong to the LDS church?, ie, "all is not well in Zion"?

    Sadly, you have no interest in the kingdom of God.

  • Jeffrey
    May 1, 2009 10:18 a.m.

    How much more evidence is needed to show social conservatives what a joke Abstinence-Only education is? It is not just a difference of opinion, it is ENDANGERING OUR CHILDREN!

    Only teaching teenagers about abstinence in sex education is like teaching driver's education where the entire curriculum is: "Never drive a car, and you won't get in an accident. Class dismissed."

    Surely most of you can see how ineffective, unrealistic, and downright dangerous that attitude is for our kids.

  • Wake up utah
    May 1, 2009 10:06 a.m.

    You guys are still avoiding the issues! You always say "Well the people from our church would never do that" Give me a break! Stop blaming it on people who move into the state. The state is still majority mormon, so don't give me that. You guys have major issues but you have a real hard time facing them because you constantly want to fit that good mormon in front of everyone. Give me a break.

  • Old Fashioned
    May 1, 2009 10:06 a.m.

    It appears people believe "old fashioned values" were a lot better than contemporary ones. Depending on the time frame, "old fashioned values" could include arranged marriage, marriage at a much earlier age, not to mention the fact your wife was your property. As for the good old 50's, our vision of that decade is shaped more by television shows like "I Love Lucy" where Rikki and Lucy slept in separate beds than by reality. The rate of pre-marital sex and adultery was about the same then as now. Child and spousal abuse got swept under the rug then more than now.

    Does abstinence work to prevent STDs 100% of the time? Sure. Is it realistic to expect everyone to wait until marriage, especially when the average age people get married keeps rising? Hardly. Educate on prevention. Include abstinence but give all the facts about how to prevent or reduce the risk of transmission. You can wag your finger at those engaged in premarital sex all you want but a large percentage of the population is still going to be sexually active before marriage just like they were in the "good old days".

  • Realist
    May 1, 2009 9:46 a.m.

    I think the most important thing is that while there are lots of parents who support abstinence and do a good job of teaching about it, there are lots of parents who believe in abstinence but don't really talk about sex with their children. A child's interest in sex doesn't go away just because you don't bring it up.

    So if you want to continue shouting abstinence from the rooftops, you better be talking about it under your own roof--so your kids aren't learning false information in the halls at school.

  • reading comprehension is down
    May 1, 2009 9:43 a.m.

    The data includes no data, hence no findings about religion. Any comments about religion are based on speculation and bias.

    STD's are up among gays and straights.

    The diseases mentioned can ONY be transmitted through sex.

    Sex is not mandatory or inevitable, it is a choice. (It is also fun!) I got married in my forties for the first time. I dated hundreds of women, had many opportunities for sex, but waited until marriage. I didn't give an STD to my wife for a wedding gift, I gave her confidence in me.

  • A secular point of view....
    May 1, 2009 9:36 a.m.

    I'll try to give the secular point of view (although I am a believer in a creator/god).

    For religiously inclined people teaching abstinence to their kids is fine, it works in many cases, not in all cases. So there is a problem...

    For non-religiously inclined people avoiding STDs, unwanted pregnancies, etc., is easily controlled...carefully choose partners, use condoms and use birth control, not a hundred percent effective, but largely effective. Still some whoops!

    So, to tell society that they must only teach abstinence is not going to work for people who simply don't see "the sin in it". Those people want protection to engage in acts they see as normal and not wrong. Our society should teach all children about "safe sex" and should provide supplies free from parental intrusion. This is for the good of society as a whole to do this. For religious families, teach your kids abstinence, let them learn about "safe sex" and such and if they choose to stray make it easy for them avoid the consequences of doing so by making birth control methods and protections available, without parental intrusion. Agency is preserved and society benefits, win-win!

  • Not sex ed's fault
    May 1, 2009 9:34 a.m.

    Let's face it, sex ed taught in public schools will never be able to stem this tide--not by teaching abstinence and not by teaching "safe sex." We are over-sexualizing ourselves and our children with all of the garbage on TV, Movies, the internet and popular culture in general. As long as we keep entertaining ourselves with this garbage, this trend will continue.

    Morality is going by the wayside and we are reaping the consequences. Plain and simple.

  • Children lack morals
    May 1, 2009 9:29 a.m.

    With the Internet and other types of media, our kids have a difference idea of what is wrong to do. I would say in Utah, most kids still think that having sex is crossing the line. But if you ask them about oral sex and they probably have a different idea. They obviously don't realize they can get the same diseases from oral sex as they can get from intercourse.

  • Time for some facts
    May 1, 2009 9:08 a.m.

    Yes, the rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea have increased rapidly in Utah during the past decade.

    No, the rates in Utah aren't anywhere close to those in more "enlightened" states such as California and New York, where explicit sex ed is a staple of education.

    According to the latest figures from the CDC, Utah's overall rate for chlamydia infections is 224 infections per 100,000 population. This compares quite favorably to California at 389, New York at 418, and a national rate of 368.1.

    Similar figures are seen with gonorrhea. Utah's rate is 32.2 per 100,000, California's is 85.8, New York's is 91.7, and the national rate is 117.4.

    Of course, we could follow the example of Washington, DC, which has comprehensive sex ed and last year gave away 1.5 million free condoms.

    Then again, DC's chlamydia rate is 1,037 per 100,000, its gonorrhea rate is 408.1, and its AIDS rate is 148.1. All three rates are the highest in the nation.

    You can sneer at "old-fashioned" values if you wish. But the data tell the real truth.

  • Utah Independent
    May 1, 2009 9:01 a.m.

    LOL. Well done, Abistence Only! Great Job!

  • Typical
    May 1, 2009 8:59 a.m.

    Why do some mormons have to be so defense, rushing to blame something like this on 'non-mormons'. "It must be the influx of non members.... the liberals and gays!". LOL Get over yourself and realize that issues like these belong to everyone... yes, even Mormons. It's this very 'it couldn't be us', bury your head in the sand attitude that results in a lack of knowledge and secrecy when it comes to sex. How hard is it to figure out that young adults who are afraid to discuss sex with anyone and/or seek advice or treatment regarding sexual concerns could be contributing to the spread of STD's. Yes, abstinence is what we all want for our children, and what we try to teach, but deluding yourself into believing that is enough is irresponsible and naive.... then again, so is the belief that one should create as many babies as possible in order to 'go forth and populate the earth'. Go figure. Newsflash: The earth is now well BEYOND populated... so stop having so many babies!

  • Abstinence is best
    May 1, 2009 8:50 a.m.

    Those who think that sex education is the answer to this problem are dreaming. Who in their right mind doesn't think that all kids in the state, LDS or not, are more sex-educated than any generation in history? Just turn on the TV for a few seconds, for crying out loud. Or get on the internet.

    The answer is abstinence, restraint, and monogamy, as outdated and conservative as those ideals seem.

    All sex education, urging use of/handing out condoms, and similar logic does is throw fuel on the fire by stimulating young minds to go exploring. Even those who are 'educated' have little restraint when passions get hot, and condoms, along with prudence, are left far behind.

  • Reading comprehension is down
    May 1, 2009 8:45 a.m.

    Did anyone READ the article?

    STD's are up -- gay and straight.

    No religious affiliation was documented, ANY conclusions therein are biased

    The diseases mentioned can ONLY me transmitted through sex.

    Editorial: I got married for the first time in my forties. I dated hundreds, had sex with none. I had opportunites. I got NO STD's, and gave none to my spouse or got none back.

  • abstinence v. abstinence ed
    May 1, 2009 8:43 a.m.

    There's a HUGE difference between teaching abstinence and the school program called "abstinence only education." Utah has a law saying that health teachers have to focus on abstinence only rather than teaching the public health principles that have been shown to reduce pregnancy and STDs.

    The science is in and the results are bad. Utah made a political choice to forbid certain topics, like condoms, and the result is a higher STD rate.

    The story says that chlamydia rose by 50% in five years. An earlier post blames non-mormons moving into the state. For the sake of that argument lets ignore the fact that most non-mormons also believe in chastity and abstinence as important life principles. Did our non-mormon population increase by 50%? If it didn't, the increased disease rate includes our LDS kids.

    Sex ed in school isn't going to convince a kid to have sex or not have sex. That important work happens at home and in church. If school can convince the kids who aren't being raised to make good choices to at least avoid disease and pregnancy, lets let the school do it.

  • Just me
    May 1, 2009 8:43 a.m.

    Why did the comments on this article change??? I commented a couple of times yesterday, they were posted, and now they are gone... with several other posts from other posters... I mean there was close to thirty posts yesterday now there is only eight??? What gives?

  • Screen Age
    May 1, 2009 8:37 a.m.

    Interesting... first comes the story about how Utah has the highest per capita consumption of online pornography, then the story of STDs spiking in Utah... apparently all that "education" isn't working either, is it?

    The truth both sides of the issue rarely mention is that abstinence is very realistic in homes with good parents and strong values.

    The trouble is so few kids today come from such homes (despite the delusional claims of parents to the contrary).

    Consequently, BOTH messages need to be out there (abstinence and safe sex).

    Anyone who tells you differently is pushing a political agenda rather than caring for young people.

    Speaking of caring for young people, how tragic for those who have now learned the hard way. Their lives are irrevocably altered.

    Please people, get off your soapboxes and be part of the solution, not the problem.

  • Joe Moe
    May 1, 2009 8:36 a.m.

    I do not want some random teacher talking to my kids about sex, using curriculum selected by the state. I could agree to implementing an OPTIONAL course, because there are frankly a lot of ignorant parents who don't know anything, and aren't going to be able or willing to teach their kids. Depending on the teacher and the curriculum, I might sign my kids up; but I'm not optimistic. Too much PC in academic Kool-Aid.

    Just don't go shoving it down my throat, or my kids'. We'll handle it in-house, thank you.

    Human sexuality is a big deal in life. Healthy attitudes about sex and health are important. Parents ignore this at their children's peril.

    Last but not least: lest we forget and be alarmist over the statistical backbone of this article, realize: there are only about six states in the US (mostly Northeast) with a lower rate of chlamydia than Utah. The increase here is troubling, but we're doing a lot better than most. So those of you on your soapbox about the "repressive" Mormon culture causing problems, think again. Statistically speaking, the opposite would seem to be true.

  • Anonymous
    May 1, 2009 8:33 a.m.

    yeah, it's all those "outsiders"..hahahahaha

    grow up and turn the lights on.

  • Midwest Member
    May 1, 2009 8:23 a.m.

    Disease and the loss of family structure are sad examples of the consequences of today's moral standards, for which all of society pays, in the long run. But let's not over-romanticize the past. People in the "fifties" may have seemed more polite on the surface, but don't forget that those were the "good old days" where racial prejudice was alive and well. What could be more rude and immoral than devaluing and demoting a people based on the quantity of melanin in their skin? Every age has it's own set of sins to repent of. It was the post-war boomer generation that helped raise the current crop of rude waywards. Let's all try to clean up our acts in what we say, do and support on tv & in the movies. A good example is the best way to promote a healthy, happy, moral lifestyle.

  • Anonymous
    May 1, 2009 8:18 a.m.

    To Educator, Thank you

    "Be realistic parents for your child's sake. "

  • Love child
    May 1, 2009 8:15 a.m.

    It might help to lower the number of STD's in Utah with some education. In Southern Utah we have high school students, who do not know what the term STD means! And abstinence is literally as efficient as "JUST SAY NO," talk about beating a dead horse. I am not telling kid to go out and fornication with multiple partners, but, abstinence is not the solution. One question, that proves it all, is abstinence education working.?

    Why is sex such a demon anyways? Is there a difference between unmarried sex and married sex? Because married or unmarried you can have a child, catch and STD, its the same action same risks married or unmarried. I am here today due to premarital sex, and I couldnt be happier. So maybe I wouldnt be here if my parents were abstinent..

  • John Charity Spring
    May 1, 2009 8:12 a.m.

    It is no wonder that the number of STDs in up. Our public education system has been so terrorized by those that preach political correctness that the schools have abandoned teaching the old fashioned values that made this Country great and made society strong. There was a time when schools were not afraid to teach values such as chastity, morality, honesty, and respect for others. Now that the schools are afraid to do so, disease, drug use, and crime are increasing at an alarming rate.

  • Educator
    May 1, 2009 8:03 a.m.

    "Wasatch Front" That's pretty small-minded and bigoted isn't it? What kind of Christian attitude is that? Get real. A number of my own LDS young women family members were pregnant when they got married and they're not criminal just human. It's just nature. Please. Funny thing, our own LDS community was more than happy to sell off all of our beautiful farmland to the "out-of-staters" for a premium profit weren't we? Hm? Remember, ye reap what ye sow. We've been jumping on the land for $$$ band-wagon just as fast as the rest of the country. So, this isn't "mecca" anymore. Oh and STD's existed even before mass media get real.

  • Educator
    May 1, 2009 7:55 a.m.

    As a child of the "fifties" while people were more polite and had manners, sex did happen. Sad thing is, kids are exposed to so much more now LDS or not that parents had better educate their sons and daughters, yes sons too. I told my own I'd rather you wait but if you don't PLEASE us a condom. Protect yourself, value yourself and if your partner doesn't want to walk away. They don't care about you and certainly don't love you. It was chlamydia which was my greatest fear because my daughters may never know why they couldn't have children. No symptoms but fallopian scarring nonetheless. Be realistic parents for your child's sake.

  • Wasatch Front
    May 1, 2009 7:53 a.m.

    Please note that the article measured most of the increase along the Wasatch Front (read "SLC"). This is the area where all of the liberal, gay-loving, out-of-staters are now congregating, bringing the plague of sexually transmitted diseases with them. There have been companion articles about the huge increases in the gay community in SLC. If you don't see the connection, look just a little harder.

  • Anonymous
    May 1, 2009 7:50 a.m.

    Isnt it just amazing that WHEREVER the topic of "sex" comes up, the most vocal blabbering to jump in and sound off are those who delight in belittling and snickering at any segment of the population who ATTEMPTS to retain the HIGHEST standards of behavior? "Abstinance" receives gigantic belittlement in every imagionable form.

    If the same standards given the "sex" question were used in other areas of life...."education", for instance.... the tactic would be: Anyone, at anytime who sticks to serious persuit of an excellent education (studies hard, puts test preparation before the weekend "party", sticks to it and BELIEVES he/she is on the right road) would be attacked, belittled and excluded from everyday activities as much as possible....

    And we would HAVE a shrinking of well educated in our nation, just as we have a SHRUNK (almost into oblivion) moral youth to run our nation in the future.

    LOOK at what`s running our country! How did they GET that way? The standards are gone, the lowest common denominator emerges.....that`s HOW! Snickering and belittling helped it along big-time!!

  • Anonymous
    May 1, 2009 7:28 a.m.

    No, all is probably just fine in Zion - this article didn't say there was an increase in members of the LDS church, it said in the State of Utah. there is a huge influx of non-members moving into the state over the same time period as was tracked in the article.

  • DUH
    May 1, 2009 7:22 a.m.

    Self-respect, restraint, moral decency seem to be outdated in today's society which is a real shame. Delaying sexual activity until marriage is not impossible, millions of us managed it without any permanent damage. Maintaining one's dignity is still an acceptable concept to some of us.

  • Anonymous
    May 1, 2009 7:11 a.m.

    All is not well in Zion...

  • Anonymous
    May 1, 2009 6:59 a.m.

    Wow! Pushing sex ed into the shadows is really working out, isn't it?

  • Abstinence wurked for me
    May 1, 2009 5:03 a.m.

    All those kids doing the deed are giving abstinence education a bad name.