Monday, April 16, 2012

New NHS sex survey

Some 27 per cent of women aged between 16 and 24 reported having sex when they were below 16 – a greater proportion than women in any previous generation covered by the survey.
This contrasts with young men in the same 16 to 24-year-old age band of whom 22 per cent reported having sex when they were younger than 16 – a similar proportion to those aged 25 to 69.
However, a substantial proportion of young people aged 16 to 24 report that they have never had sex – 26 per cent of young women and 32 per cent of young men.
In contrast, one in ten 16-24-year-olds – both men and women - reported they had had ten or more sexual partners.
The findings come from the Health Survey for England 2010 (HSE) which is published each year and provides new information unavailable from other sources on a range of health-related issues.
The HSE in 2010 is the first to look at matters relating to sexual behaviour. 
Its findings suggest sexual behaviour has changed over the generations, with the percentage of women who reported they first had sex below the age of 16 increasing over generations. 
This trend is less clear in men.
Overall, the report, which looks at self-reported behaviour in men and women between the ages of 16 and 69, which could be affected by under- or over-reporting, shows:
  • The median age at which both men and women reported that they became sexually active was 17.
  • 17 per cent of men and 24 per cent of women reported that they have had only one sexual partner
  • Men reported a mean of 9.3 female sexual partners in their life so far, while women reported a mean of 4.7 sexual partners
  • 27 per cent of men and 13 per cent of women reported having had ten sexual partners or more
  • Of those aged 16 to 69 who reported ever having heterosexual or homosexual sex, women were more likely than men to report ever having a doctor-diagnosed sexually transmitted infection (STI) (12 per cent and nine per cent respectively). 
  • However, similar proportions of men and women reported having had more than one STI (two per cent of each sex).
What do we learn from this?
That sex is alive and well with more discussion about the subject than before.
Bringing the subject into the light is helpful in many ways.

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