New research focuses on teen sexual health in Northern Ireland
Sex education at school is young people's preferred source of information about sex, according to a new report from Queen's University and the University of Ulster.
Forty-two per cent of 16 year olds from across Northern Ireland who completed the 2011 Young Life and Times Survey identified sex education at school as the source of the most helpful information about sex. It is seen as the most reliable and trustworthy source of information, with many respondents saying that they would have liked more lessons.
1,434 teenagers across Northern Ireland completed the Young Life and Times Survey, an annual survey of 16-year olds undertaken by ARK, a joint initiative by Queen's and the University of Ulster. The survey gives an insight into lives of 16-year olds across Northern Ireland, addressing a number of key issues.
The key findings relating to sexual health have been published in a new report, entitled Messed up? Sexual Lifestyles of 16 year olds in Northern Ireland. They include:
- 26 per cent of respondents reported that they had had sex.
- Around one half (46 per cent) of those who had had sex were 16 years of age when they first had sex, 31 per cent were 15 years old whilst the remaining 22 per cent were younger.
- 30 per cent said that this had happened on the spur of the moment, while 29 per cent said they had planned it together with their partners.
- 62 per cent of respondents felt that the first time they had sex came at the right time; however, 34 per cent felt it happened too early. The older respondents were when they first had sex, the more likely they were to say that the timing was right.
- Curiosity (54 per cent) and the feeling that sex seemed like a natural follow-on to the relationship (46 per cent) were the two main reasons why they first had sex, for both males and females. Females were much more likely than males to say that they had sex because they were in love 43 per cent of females compared to 29 per cent of males.
- About three in ten were still in a relationship with their first sexual partner.
- 54 per cent of those who had had sex only ever had one sexual partner. Eight per cent had more than five sexual partners.
- Whether they'd had sex or not, 62 per cent said they would find it easy to access contraception.
"However, the findings also show that those teaching sexuality education with a 'no sex before marriage' agenda need to acknowledge that at least one in four young people don't make this choice.
"School-based sex education is clearly young people's preferred source of information. However, many of the respondents were critical of the negativity with which sexuality education is taught in school, and few felt at ease talking to their teachers about sex. Despite the fact that Relationship and Sexuality Education now forms part of the compulsory post-primary curriculum, some respondents reported that they had received none. This would suggest that a more open and positive approach to sex education is required."
A second publication from ARK, entitled Young Men and Sexual Health, has been published to coincide with Men's Health Week (11-17 June). Drawing on information from a number of sources, it highlights that:
- Young men found it easier to talk about sex to their girlfriend/boyfriend and close friends, than to their parents.
- 24 per cent of males in Year 8, but 80 per cent of those in Year 12, said they would find it easy to get contraceptives. When asked where they would get contraceptives, 53 per cent said from a shop or chemist, and 35 per cent said public places, such as bars or public toilets. Only one in ten said they would go to a family planning clinic or doctor.
- Knowledge of some sexually-transmitted infections was high among 11-16 year old boys, although some diseases were less well-known.
- The number of diagnoses of some diseases in Northern Ireland, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, are higher among males than females, particularly among those aged 20-24.
More information: Full reports: Messed up? Sexual Lifestyles of 16 year olds in Northern Ireland is available at www.ark.ac.uk/publ… update80.pdf Young Men and Sexual Health is available at www.ark.ac.uk/serv… es/MINI8.pdf
Provided by Queen's University Belfast
- One in ten 16 year olds have self-harmed Jul 30, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Research into adolescent sexual habits reveals surprising findings Nov 08, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Study shows behaviors and attitudes towards oral sex are changing Aug 11, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Sexually abused boys at risk for more unsafe sex: research Apr 04, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Increased age of sexual consent in Canada may not protect teens at greatest risk: study Nov 16, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
The gap between life expectancy in patients with a mental illness and the general population has widened since 1985 and efforts to reduce this gap should focus on improving physical health, suggest researchers in a paper ...
Health 7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Failure to use linked electronic health records may lead to biased estimates of heart attack incidence and outcome, warn researchers in a paper published in BMJ today.
Health 7 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Dietary advice on added sugar is damaging our health, warns a cardiologist in BMJ today. Dr. Aseem Malhotra believes that "not only has this advice been manipulated by the food industry for profit but it is actually a risk ...
Health 7 hours ago | 5 / 5 (4) | 0
(HealthDay)—In 2008 to 2010, the prevalence of key health behaviors among U.S. adults varied, with about one in five adults current smokers and 62.1 percent overweight or obese, according to a report presented ...
Health 10 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
(HealthDay)—The overall health of Americans isn't improving much, with about six in 10 people either overweight or obese and large numbers engaging in unhealthy behaviors like smoking, heavy drinking or ...
Health 10 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Native peoples in regions where cameras are uncommon sometimes react with caution when their picture is taken. The fear that something must have been stolen from them to create the photo ...
14 hours ago | 4.2 / 5 (5) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Despite spending billions of dollars on research and development, drug companies have been unable to come up with effective treatments for dementia and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Now, A. ...
12 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (11) | 0 |
An experimental sleeping pill from US drug company Merck is effective at helping people fall and stay asleep, according to reviewers at the US Food and Drug Administration, which could soon approve the new drug.
8 hours ago | 3 / 5 (2) | 0
Australian scientists have charted the path of insulin action in cells in precise detail like never before. This provides a comprehensive blueprint for understanding what goes wrong in diabetes.
14 hours ago | 4.6 / 5 (7) | 0 |
Activating an enzyme known to play a role in the anti-aging benefits of calorie restriction delays the loss of brain cells and preserves cognitive function in mice, according to a study published in the May ...
9 hours ago | 5 / 5 (4) | 0 |
A drug commonly used to treat depression and anxiety may improve a stress-related heart condition in people with stable coronary heart disease, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.
10 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |