15 February 2016
Finding comes despite 63% of young people admitting to having unprotected sex
More than half of sexually active students have never been tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), despite 63 per cent having engaged in unprotected sex, according to new research.
Following the findings from The Student Room – the world’s largest student forum and wiki – the site’s team is calling for improvements to be made in the way sex education is taught in schools to ensure young people are taking necessary precautions.
Seeking to encourage students to take their sexual health seriously, the site surveyed just under 1,200 students from across the country about their sexual health and history to also find that, from the 63 per cent who are having unprotected sex, 26 per cent told how they had never bought condoms.
When asked about the sex education they received, 40 per cent revealed it was ‘just average’ with a further 27 per cent saying it was ‘poor’, adding how they didn’t feel they knew enough about sexual health. The majority of students (87 per cent) found the advice they needed on sex and sexual health via online searches and through forums, such as The Student Room.
Student life community manager, Zoe McMillan, described how, with Valentine’s Day having just passed, sex and relationships are at the forefront of young people’s minds, with The Student Room site “packed” with students seeking advice. She said: “This research clearly shows the importance of online advice and highlights the improvements that need to be made to sex education in schools.
“Any student concerned about STIs, relationships, or anything surrounding sexual health should know about the support available to them – from sexual health clinics to anonymous sex and relationship advice on forums.”
Ms McMillan also urged students to use the online advice and support services provided by the NHS, adding: “GP and local sexual health clinics are great places to start for sexual health advice and any concerns students may have.”
The NHS has recently warned of the consequences of STIs on its student sex site, and says: “Even those without obvious symptoms may cause infertility and other long-term health damage.”