During the Christmas period, the number of sexually suggestive perfume advertisements doubles in number. Such famous examples are Jean Paul Gaultier whose naked vixen wakes up alone after a night with a sailor suggests that sex with an unknown companion is perfectly acceptable. At least over 75% of perfume adverts give that same message to young people.
Research published this week by Marie Stopes shows that of 4,000 adults not trying for a baby, a third of women and almost half of the men had unprotected sex at least once in the past year. And here's the surprising part. Around eight out of 10 of those having unprotected sex said they believed it was "very unlikely" that it would result in pregnancy or they'd contract a sexually transmitted infection. When it comes to our sex lives, it seems we cross our fingers and hope for the best. Yet 185,000 women accessed abortion services last year, which suggests that for quite a lot of us, it does happen. Half a million STIs were diagnosed last year too, some of them incurable and life-threatening.
Efforts to persuade teenagers to have safe sex and to use health-screening services seem to be having a positive effect. Looks like that bloke who said "education, education, education" might have gotten something right after all. So, if you have a teenager, here's ten things you need to know before they become sexually active.
Being too embarrassed to come forward can be potentially very dangerous, particularly when it comes to sexual health. Public Health England* recently released its latest statistics on STI diagnoses rates, which were widely reported in the media. It illustrated that there is still a widespread problem of people having unsafe sex
Section 28 was homophobic, evil, pernicious and unworkable poor legislation - it was unworkable because it never applied to schools who were and continue to be responsible for sex education. But it had an enormous impact nonetheless. And those who introduced, supported and tried to uphold it should be ashamed.
Good PSHE education helps to develop vital personal and social skills, positive values, an understanding of equality and diversity and the importance of individual rights and responsibilities. PSHE education is not a magic bullet but where it is done well in primary and secondary schools it is proven to make a difference to young lives.