Expert calls for sex education to become much more graphic
Everyone in possession of a smartphone or tablet now has the entire internet available with the click of a button.
And among other things, experts claim that this has lead to vast changes in the sexual practices of youngsters – with the easy access to internet pornography being listed as partly behind the rise.
A new study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, has now warned that to keep up with these trends – and to keep young people safe, sex education policies need a major update to reflect the sex practices that 16-24-year-olds are now participating in.
Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and University College London have been monitoring the changing sexual practices of youngsters since 1990. This is what Dr Ruth Lewis, who conducted the work while at the LSHTM had to say:
“At a time when much sex and relationship education is being updated, keeping pace with current trends in sexual practices is crucial so that curricula are tailored to the realities of young people's experiences."
In other words, it is naive to think that our teenagers aren't having sex in ways that were previous considered to only belong in graphic, adult movies.
"By shedding light on when some young people are having sex and what kinds of sex they are having, our study highlights the need for accurate sex and relationships education that provides opportunities to discuss consent and safety in relation to a range of sexual practices.”
Interestingly, the researchers discovered that the median age for first sexual experiences has not changed much in recent decades, and the median age for losing virginity is now 16 across for both men and women.
Professor of Sexual and Reproductive Health at LSHTM, Kaye Wellings, also weighed in on the issue: