UK survey: majority of gay teens have sex before 16

UK Gay News | December 05, 2006

LONDON Fifty-eight per cent of gay UK teens have sex before the age of 16, the annual Puffta love-sex-life survey has revealed.

And the government is failing to educate teens about sex at the right age and in the right communities.

The recent Department of Health campaign to make condoms ‘essential wear’ for young people had the following brief: “To normalize condom use and tackle growing rates of sexually transmitted infections among 18 to 24-year-olds who are complacent about unprotected sex.”

And 35 percent of those responding to the survey said that they had unprotected sex in the past three months.

However, the love-sex-life survey revealed 58 percent of gay teens had sex before the legal age of 16, and 23 percent had sex at 13-years-old or younger.

“Last year and the year before the results were shocking,” said Simon Johnson, editor and founder of puffta.co.uk. “We simply didn't know what this age group were up to as nobody had asked them”

Puffta’s annual survey polled gay teens about sex, love and life. Nearly 500 teens between 13 and 21 logged on to Puffta and answered questions about safe sex and drugs.

“Now, year after year we’re finding a running trend that gay teens are having unprotected sex and not getting tested for STDs and HIV – yet they’re very sexually active at such a young age,” he added.

Johnson said he doesn’t believe the recent mainstream government campaigns go far enough to educate straight or gay teens,

“The campaign is not inclusive,” Johnson said. “Why spend so much money on a campaign that only targets young straight people and only focus on two STDs? You can cure chlamydia and gonorrhoea but you can’t cure HIV.”

The Schools Out group, which is working towards equality in education for LGBT, called on the government to totally rethink its sex education and HIV awareness.

“The government’s drive to promote academies and faith schools is handing control of schools – and taxpayers’ money – to groups whose commitment to applying the principles of ‘Every Child Matters’ to LGBT students is questionable,” Schools Out said in a statement. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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