Sex education usually focuses on prevention and safety. Still, over one million STIs are transmitted every day. Research indicates that changing the focus might be a turning point.
A team of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the University of Oxford conducted a survey analyzing the influence of sexual pleasure on human behavior. More specifically, discovering if education focused on pleasure rather than safety would be more beneficial.
Since pleasure is the most significant on the list of motivators for people to have sex, their premise is that by making condoms sexy it’s possible to increase the number of those who use them as protection. Final numbers proved them right.
The main subject of their analysis was sexual health programs, i.e. how many offer a greater emphasis on pleasure. Results of those programs that do put pleasure in the center show significantly greater use of condoms among those who participated in the said programs.
Participants of the research were straight and gay teenagers and young adults. The research among gay people was conducted in the US, while the other part was conducted in sex-ed classes in Brazil and Spain.
One of the analyzed programs proved to be especially successful: there were 50% fewer cases of STIs and HIV when compared to traditional methods. Sexual pleasure was used as a tool for redirecting behavioral patterns in participants, so they feel more inclined to use condoms during intercourse.
According to the WHO, this research could be a game-changer. Instead of promoting safe sex as a means to remain healthy, sex-ed should promote safe sex as a way to enjoy intimacy and pleasure between partners.