Responding to the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3) and the reports from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, Jules Hillier, Brook’s Deputy Chief Executive, said:
“Two stories in today’s news about sex are very different – one is a fascinating insight into our sexual behaviour and attitudes which shows most people are enjoying safe and healthy sex lives, while the other shows the very worst of experiences with a report on young people who are sexually exploited – something we must all work to eradicate.
“We know what we value and aspire for all young people and we must not stigmatise all young people’s sexuality. Instead we should be talking about sex and relationships at home, at school, in services, and if we grasp this we will serve most young people very well. What is more difficult is tackling structural inequalities and disadvantage that leads to violence, exploitation and getting excellent support.
“If we are to enable young people to have healthy, happy sexual relationships, understand the confusing and often conflicting world about them and protect themselves from harm, we must provide them with the education to navigate this and know where to go if they need help and support. The reports in the news today highlight particular worrying trends, especially around many young people’s lack of understanding around consent, and this must be included in education about sex and relationships.”
- For media enquiries please contact Brook’s press office on 020 7284 6046
Notes to editors
- Brook helps young people to make informed, active choices about their personal and sexual relationships so they can enjoy their sexuality without harm.
- Brook is the UK’s leading provider of sexual health services and advice for young people under 25. The charity has nearly 50 years of experience working with young people and currently has services in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Jersey.
- Brook services provide free and confidential sexual health information, contraception, pregnancy testing, advice and counselling, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and outreach and education work, reaching over 280,000 young people every year. www.brook.org.uk. Ask Brook helpline 0808 802 1234.
- Brook’s Sex:Positive campaign aims to challenge society’s negative attitudes towards sex. Join the campaign: www.sexpositive.org.uk
- Brook and FPA’s XES – We Can’t Go Backwards campaign aims to protect contraceptive rights and choice. Join the campaign: www.wecantgobackwards.org.uk