A website called b4udecide.ie has been launched advising young people in Ireland to wait before having sex for the first time.
The Crisis Pregnancy Agency, a body set up by the Minister for Health and Children in 2001, is behind the campaign. In 2006, its employees interviewed 7,441 teenagers over the phone. They found that most Irish teenagers regretted their first sexual experience and many did not continue in a relationship with that person.
The b4udecide.ie website gives youngsters information on sexual orientation, contraception and sexual health. It tells teens about the legal age of consent, which is 17 for both girls and boys in Ireland. It has quizzes on body image, pressure and problems.
It also contains articles on “Why it’s better to wait,” and “Decision making” – and offers 19 different suggestions for how to say “no.”
“Young people need to be re-assured that everyone in their group of friends is not having sex, even though they might give the impression that they are,” the site states.
Prof. Hannah McGee, a professor of psychology at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, was at the launch of the initiative. "Young people who had sex at an early age were also more likely to express regret – to say that they wished they waited longer," she said in an Irish Times report.
As well as the text-speak title, b4udecide.ie has details that are specific to a new generation. For instance, it includes advice on sexting – sending explicit texts and images via mobile phone, which has become popular amongst teenagers in recent years. Another section called “Think before you upload,” reminds readers, “You can’t control who sees your photo once it’s online.”
And it urged youngsters to check what comes up under their names on google.