Recent figures from the Positive Sexual Relations Report have revealed that youths are turning to the Internet for information on healthy sexual relationships.

 

1,056 young people aged 14 to 24 years old participated in the report. 74 percent of the respondents said that they were comfortable talking about sex on social media and the Internet.

 

On the other hand, a mere 26 percent reported being comfortable talking about sex with their parents.

 

As well, over 20 percent of respondents said that they think of online porn as a 'useful' source of information about healthy sexual relationships.

 

 

The figures show just how integral the Internet is in young people's sexual education, with more than 90 percent of them citing the Internet as their 'most trusted source of info on healthy sexual relationships'.

 

Deborah, 17, from Youth Work Ireland's National Youth Action Group, said, "There is such a distinct lack of resources for us to learn sex ed, it seems like most people are going about their education their own way, and that includes using porn as a basis for learning.

 

"I think there is a number of ways this could be improved, and I think it starts by taking the onus off teachers."

 

Unsurprisingly, most young people are comfortable discussing sex with their friends, as 92 percent of respondents reported feeling this way. Only 23 percent say they are comfortable talking about the subject with their teachers.

 

 

There's also a gender divide in these figures, with boys reporting that they are much more at ease talking about sex with teachers (23 percent) than their female counterparts (15 percent).

 

Boys also feel less embarrassed talking about sex with their parents (22 percent) than girls (29 percent).

 

However, girls are more likely to report being completely comfortable discussing sex with their friends (71 percent) than their male peers (63 percent).

 

Girls are also more likely to turn to the Internet for information on healthy sexual relationships than boys.

 

 

The report also contained good news in regards to matters of consent. 50 percent of respondents said that the #MeToo movement and others like it made them feel more confident saying 'no' to unwanted sexual attention.

 

“This report clearly demonstrates that the Government urgently needs to deliver a comprehensive overhaul of relationship and sexual health education in Irish Schools, building on best practice with no opt-outs," said Dr Patrick Burke, CEO of Youth Work Ireland.

 

"Increasingly we see the critical role of quality education for young people on relationships and healthy approaches to sexuality."

 

Are you surprised by any of the report's figures? Do you feel comfortable talking to your older children about sex?

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