You’d think this much would be obvious — if you’re not particular who you sleep around with, don’t be surprised if one day you wake up with a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Yet, now we have research confirming the common wisdom (yay!).

The study examined the sexual activities, partner characteristics and STD diagnoses of 412 subjects between the ages of 15 and 24. Among the subjects whose partners were categorized as high-risk, half were diagnosed with an STD. By comparison, about 40 percent of the young adults whose own behaviors were labeled as high-risk were diagnosed with an STD.

So what’s the problem? Most health care providers — like your family doc — only ask about your sexual behavior, and so don’t catch folks who actually engage in low-risk sexual behaviors, but with very high-risk partners.

The other interesting finding from the research:

Of these characteristics, the most telling were if a partner already had an STD and if a couple had an age difference of more than five years. Subjects whose partners were five years older or younger than them were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with an STD than those whose partners were around the same age, the researchers found.

Might put you off of men or women more than five years older than you.

It’s not just not sleeping with a guy or girl on the first date. It’s choosing decent people to begin with, people who haven’t already had dozens of sexual partners, or do boat-loads of drugs regularly (high-risk behaviors).

Read the full article: Risk of STDs Influenced By Partner Behavior.



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    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Apr 2009
    Published on All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2009). High Risk Partner? High Risk of STD. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 28, 2015, from


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