To mark Sexual Health Week, (11-17 September) new research reveals shocking gaps in youth knowledge about safe sex, proving the desperate need for better quality and more reliable sources of sex education.

Despite having technology at their fingertips

Despite having technology at their fingertips

According to Durex’s survey of over 1,000 Brits, information taught in schools is still seen as the main source of sex education . But with nearly a third (28%) of young people seeking sex advice from friends, and even pornography (19%), research suggests poor quality information online and amongst peers is leading to a new generation of confused and misinformed teens.

With reports revealing young people spend over 27 hours a week online, tripling from 2005,i With nearly a fifth of young people admitting they use porn as an alternative source of sex educationi, unrealistic and potentially unhealthy attitudes about sex are being cultivated during adolescence. ii it’s perhaps unsurprising that the internet is an increasingly prevalent source of sexual information for 18-24 year olds.

With condoms taking a backseat in pornographic films, teens admit they follow suit; 40 percent have used the unreliable withdrawal method during sex and nearly half (44%) of 18-24 year olds say they need more information about contraception.

And it’s not just the intricacies of getting it on that they need help with; half of young people say more advice is needed about safety, privacy and consent. With over a third (34%) admitting they don’t feel confident talking about sex, it’s clear more needs to be done to get young people talking about responsible, healthy sex and relationships.

Durex sex and relationships expert Alix Fox comments: “The prevalence of pornography combined with a lack of in depth sex education in schools and communities can lead to a shocking amount of misinformation spread through urban legend and dodgy internet sources. It can be awkward to talk about sex as a young person, but we need to remove any stigma around this and offer people as many ways as possible to access reliable information and advice they relate to and feel at ease with.”

Durex went back to school to find out what young people really know about ‘doing the deed’. Check out the video here to see how your knowledge holds up.

Durex has created the DO... collaboration, a group of sex and relationship experts committed to improving sex education through free, inspiring teaching resources. They aim to transform the ability of secondary schools to deliver open and honest information on a range of topics, with the goal of putting young people first. To find out more and get your school talking about sex and relationships

For all this and more watch our video featuring the UK’s youth to find out how much they really know 

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