Better Education Needed About Oral Sex Disease Risk, Poll of Young People Shows

Most teens and young adults know it’s possible to catch or spread a sexually transmitted infection by having unprotected oral sex, a new poll shows. But more than half underestimate the level of that risk, including many who focus on avoiding pregnancy risk, the data show.

Just over half (54%) of young people also feel their generation needs more education about the risks of oral sex, and how to reduce those risks by using protective barriers such as dental dams and condoms. One in five also called for more depictions or discussion of protection during oral sex in popular culture to normalize the concept.

The new study is published in the Annals of Family Medicine by a team from the MyVoice text-based poll based at the University of Michigan’s Department of Family Medicine. The study is based on answers from 909 young people across the country with an average age of 19.

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