According to a new study by SafeWise and highspeedinternet.com published on Jan. 24, South Carolina ranks as the 6th most dangerous state in the country for online dating. The study determined which states were safest and most dangerous for online daters based on the FBI’s crime rates by state and the CDC’s reports of STD rates in each state. They found the top 10 most dangerous states for online dating are as follows:
1. Washington D.C.
4. New Mexico
6. South Carolina
9. North Carolina
According to the study, neither the dominant political beliefs nor the average age of a state’s population affected the crime and STD rates of the state. However, the study did find that states with higher rates of church attendance had higher rates of STDs. The study also found that mandatory sex education and easy access to contraceptives correlated to states having low crime and STD rates.
According to the Post and Courier, South Carolina currently follows The Comprehensive Health Education Act of 1988 which mandated and standardized sex education in high schools across the state. However, parents can choose to exempt their children from sex education classes. Also, the schools cannot distribute condoms. The act requires high schools to teach reproductive health, pregnancy prevention and contraceptive use, but they must also advocate abstinence until marriage. In 2014, the law was amended to include discussion of sexual assault and abuse. Additionally, South Carolina’s sex education policies have been criticized for not allowing teachers to address gay relationships.
Better sex education in South Carolina’s high schools could make the state safer for online dating, but until then those looking for relationships online should be cautious.