Harvard Students Are Having Lots of Unprotected Sex

And only 31 percent said they've been tested.

Photo via iStock/bankok

Photo via iStock/bankok

Sixty percent of Harvard students say they’ve had sex in the last year, and many of them did so without protection, according to a Harvard University Health Services survey, administered every other year.

Just 59 percent of students “mostly” or “always” use a “barrier method” during vaginal sex, while 44.9 percent for do so for anal sex, and 10 percent for oral sex. And 31 percent of sexually active respondents said they’ve been tested for sexually transmitted infections within the past year.

The low rates of protection and infrequent testing are even more troubling when paired with students’ perceived use of barrier methods among their peers—respondents estimated that 88 percent were “mostly” or “always” using protection for vaginal sex, along with 60.5 percent for anal and 52 percent for oral.

When asked their reasons for avoiding protection, 54 percent of students said their sexual activity is low-risk, while 33 percent said either they or their partner don’t like it.

Forty-five percent of Harvard College students responded, good for the highest participation rate in the survey’s history.