Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
MacHale, E,Newell, J
International Journal Of Std & Aids
Sexual behaviour and sex education in Irish school-going teenagers
Optional Fields
sexual behaviour sex education teenagers Ireland AIDS
The sexual behaviour and factors which affect such behaviour, source of knowledge and education about sex was assessed by means of an anonymous self-administered questionnaire among 2754 pupils (15-18 years) attending 40 (85%) second level schools in Galway City and County.The purpose of the study was to make recommendations in relation to a school sexual health education programme.Overall 21% of pupils had had sexual intercourse, with boys more than twice as likely as girls to have experienced this. The mean age of first sexual intercourse was 15.5 years, 72% reported having used a condom at first intercourse but of 475 pupils who had sexual intercourse regularly only 67% used condoms all the time with 33% using them sometimes or never. Over half reported that first intercourse was with a 'casual' partner and 35% and 9% respectively claimed that alcohol and non-prescribed drugs were a contributory factor.In relation to sexual risk beliefs, 72% believed that condoms used properly reduced the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and 78% knew that the contraceptive pill is not protective against human immunodeficiency virus (HN) infections. While the level of knowledge regarding sex education was generally high over one-third of sexually active respondents had been involved in high-risk behaviour.A need for health education programmes which focus on behaviour change and assertiveness has been identified.
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