A recently-published survey has revealed that 53% of South Korean women in their 20s did not use contraceptives while they had sex in the past year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that among the 1,000 women polled, 96% were educated on birth control. Of these women, 80% were taught how to use condoms, The Korea Times reported.
However, among the 674 respondents who had sex in the past year, only 47% engaged in protected sex.
Researchers blamed South Korea’s school system for placing less of an emphasis on sex education:
“The curriculum of public schools is more focused on college entrance exams. Therefore, the educators spend less time on physical education and teach sex education in a one-time event.”
For a long time, the country has been known for administrating Suneung, its national college entrance test similar to China’s Gaokao, Japan’s Sentā and America’s SAT.
But the Suneung is a uniquely notorious test that halts airplane flights and requires the police to escort examinees on their way to testing centers. Students prepare for this sole, make-or-break test during most of their middle and high school lives.
That leaves less time to learn about sex. Government schools only render 17 to 34 hours of sex education for teenagers each year.
Researchers expressed their hope for a better system to be put in place:
“Like the Netherlands and Switzerland, Korea should provide practical educational programs to students so they can prevent unwanted pregnancies and have healthy sex lives.”