You would think typed words and emoticons would be the safest form of dating, but some health advocates are saying online dating is at least partially to blame for the increased rates of STDs they’re seeing. The thinking is that people tend to rush into physical relationships with people they’ve met online, thinking they really know the other person.
“You don’t have to spend a week in a bar to find somebody you’re comfortable with,” St. Louis Health Director Pam Walker says, “People are doing it online and they’re doing it faster.”
Walker goes on to say 90 percent of 400 or so new cases of gonorrhea and 126 new cases of chlamydia seen in her city are African Americans between the ages of 15 to 24. Given that black men and women have been a bit slower to catch on to the online dating trend, I wouldn’t place too much weight in her online dating theory.
The potential to immediately jump into bed with someone you’ve had too many drinks with at the bar seems stronger than the temptation to sleep with someone you’ve met online too soon, but I can certainly see how someone could get caught up in thinking they really know a person through the computer and forget to check their disease status.
What do you think? Is online dating a likely culprit for the increase in STDs overall? Do you think this could be true for black women specifically?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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