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Irish teens are opting to delay sex until their 20s Photo by: Google Images

Irish teenagers opting for chastity until their twenties

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Irish teens are opting to delay sex until their 20s Photo by: Google Images

Young people in Ireland have displayed a shift in their attitude toward sexual activity. A survey conducted by the HSE Crisis Pregnancy Programme showed a dramatic shift in sexual activity amongst teens in Ireland.

The Herald reports that the survey revealed that the 13 percent of 18-25 year olds who reported not having sex in 2003 jumped 2 percent to 15 percent in 2010. The results also showed a difference in male and female attitudes towards sex, as well as an increase in safe sex.

The majority of the girls polled reported that they waited until they were at least 18 years old before they had sex. 28 percent of males, however, admitted to sleeping with someone before reaching 17 -- the age of consent. 17 percent of girls admitted to having sex before they were 17 as well.

Use of contraception during the first time those surveyed had sex proved to be very high. 89 percent of 18-25 year olds and 80 percent of 26-35 year olds used contraception the first time they had sex, compared with 61 percent of 36-45 year olds.

Sex education has proved to have an effect on this generation, with 70 percent saying the instruction was helpful in their adult relationships.

With an increase in sexual education, parents have taken a steady decline in their influence on their children's sexual lives. In 2003, 72 percent of parents played a role in sexual education, while in 2010’s report only 10 percent did.

Professor Hannah McGee of the Royal College of Surgeons was rather pleased with the new findings of this modern young generation.  Said McGee, "These are very positive findings, particularly at a time when teenagers and young people are under increased pressure to become sexually active.”

Despite a changed attitude toward contraception, the pregnancy rate among those under 25 years old has not changed. However, 66 percent of women today under 25 who were polled were more likely to regard a pregnancy as a “crisis” than in 2003 when it was only 52 percent.

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