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Rise in unprotected sex in Britain

27th September 2011

The results of a new study have shown that the amount of British teenagers having unprotected sex is increasing.

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The international survey, which is in its third year, was launched on Monday to mark World Contraception Day 2011.

The report, Clueless or Clued Up: Your right to be informed about contraception, found high numbers of young people were having sex without using contraception.

It also showed that teenagers were reluctant to ask healthcare workers about contraception because they were embarrassed and many were not thoroughly informed about protection by their schools.

The survey, which received endorsement from the international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) showed that since 2009 the amount of 16-19 year-olds having sex without contraception with a new partner has risen by 19% in Great Britain.

The study noted that excuses recorded for having sex without protection with someone new included not "liking" contraception (23%), and "being drunk and forgetting precautions" (15%).

The amount of female participants who said they knew a close family friend or relative who had an unplanned pregnancy increased from 36% in 2009 to 55% in 2011.

The survey found 62% of boys and 55% of girls said they were "very well informed" about how to prevent pregnancy.

The data revealed that 16% of teenagers said they thought the withdrawal method worked and 6% believed menstruation would prevent pregnancy.

One fifth of participants said they were not given sex education at school and 16% said they did not trust their teachers to provide them with accurate information.

Denise Keller, of the World Contraception Day task force, said: "Teenagers globally fail to get trustworthy information about sex and contraception so the myths flourish."

An average of just 55% of European teenagers received sex education in school in comparison to three quarters in Latin America (78%), the USA (74%) and Asia Pacific (76%).

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