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Wednesday 22 November 2017

School-leavers 'not told enough about sex'

Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

IRISH school-leavers are less informed about sexual health than their counterparts in other countries.

Almost one-third of Irish men and women said they didn't receive any sexual health education at school, according to a new survey.

The 30pc of Irish adults who said they missed out on essential sex education in school was higher than the global average of 22pc.

Condom manufacturer Durex carried out the survey among 29,994 adults, aged 18 and over, in 37 countries to gain insights into sexual wellbeing.

The survey found that more than 80pc of Irish men and women risk sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancy by not always using a condom with a new partner or someone who is not their main partner.

Among Irish men, the average number of sexual partners was 17 -- more than men from Austria (16), China (5) and the Netherlands (12) -- while Irish women had an average of eight different partners.

The survey found that 55pc of adults left second-level school without any formal sexual health education, while another 15pc could not remember receiving any.

Only 20pc of Irish people said one of their major sources of sex education was from school, while double that, 41pc, said they got most their knowledge from friends and peers.

Some 81pc agreed that sex education enabled people to be more responsible with sex.

According to the survey, 35pc of Irish adults enjoyed their first experience with sex.

The Durex survey findings have been released to coincide with National Condom Week, an annual initiative aimed at promoting safer sex.

To mark the week, Dublin AIDS Alliance is distributing 30,000 condoms, supplied by Durex, to communities throughout Ireland.

Irish Independent

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