Today’s teens play it safe when it comes to sex

7 July, 2007:

Teenagers today know more about safe sex than their parents did a generation ago.

Teenagers who lose their virginity in 2007 are eight times more likely to use contraception as compared to those before them who have had sex for the
first time, according to a global study conducted by a leading manufacturer of condoms.

The 2007 Face of Global Sex Report, prepared by Durex Network, says that today’s teenagers are smarter and play it safer than their parents did. Those aged between 16 and 19 years having first-time sex are at least eight times more likely to have used contraception for their sexual debut than people now aged 65 years or over, the report says.

The global average age for first-time sex is 17.

However, the report also shows that for every year first sex is delayed – up to the age of 17 – contraceptives are more likely to be used, but from 18 onwards, the rate of usage declines.

The report showed that 81.5% of those polled had used a form of birth control.

Women, reveals the survey, are 25% more likely than men to take precautions when they lose their virginity. Also, youngsters who discuss sexual health and habits with parents are more likely to use protection.

Releasing the report, Peter Roach, vice-president of Durex Network, said “It was a heartening finding in times of rampant unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. There is a need to build on the fact that three quarters of 16- to 19-year-olds are using condoms for first sex and encourage their continued use as they grow older.”

The survey was conducted online in August and September 2006 on 26,082 people in 26 countries, including India.

The report found that while most respondents from Asian countries such as China, Singapore and Malaysia said they had their first sexual experience
later than their peers in the West, they also said they were better prepared psychologically.

The Durex Network study found that the average age at which Indians lose their virginity is 22.9.

Indians are second only to the Malaysians (average age of first-time sex 23) when it comes to being the oldest to lose their virginity. Those in Singapore do it by the time they are 22.8, the Chinese wait till they are 22.1, Thais till 20.5, those in Hong Kong till 20.2, while the Japanese do it at 19.4 years.

Around 67.2% of Indians use some sort of contraception the first time they have sex.




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