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Unwanted teen sex tied to binge drinking

An explosion in binge drinking among high school girls is driving an increase in unwanted teen sex, a nationwide survey, which will be outlined in Brisbane today, says.

A massive 60 per cent of year 12 girls – and nearly one in three year 10 females – admitted to binge drinking three or more times in the fortnight before last year’s poll.

The survey by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University, found binge drinking among year 12 girls had more than doubled since a similar survey four years ago.

“It is a concern,” said the centre’s Pamela Blackman, who will present the research findings at today’s Family Planning Queensland conference on sexuality education.

“When they’re under the influence of alcohol – the fact that they are having more sexual partners – then, of course, we’ll be concerned about whether they’re having safe sex.”

Of the nearly 3000 male and female students surveyed, a quarter of the year 10s and half of the year 12s said they had had sex.

Thirty per cent reported having three or more sexual partners – up from 20 per cent in 2002. And 38 per cent of the young women said they had endured unwanted sex.

Researcher Professor Anthony Smith described the increase in unwanted sex as significant.

“The most common reason was pressure from a partner and the next was being drunk,” he said.

Family Planning Queensland education services director Cecelia Gore said the research highlighted the lack of appropriate sex education delivered to high school students, particularly young men.

She said the real issue was a culture where vulnerability was being taken advantage of.

“We need to be focusing on educating young men about safe and respectful relationships.”

Ms Gore said feedback indicated most high school students were unimpressed with sex education classes. “Whenever you ask young people, they say it is too late, too little and it’s too biological.

“The best sex education is when you give people a chance to actually talk about their real life issues.”

Students were most likely to turn to mothers or female friends with questions about sexual health.

source: The Courier-Mail

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