Sex education ‘leaves girls clueless’

Sex education leaves teenagers with no idea about pregnancy

Sex education lessons are so poor that most teenagers are left with no idea about sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy.

Research by the UK Youth Parliament found that almost half of teenagers in England say they have never been taught about the effects of teenage pregnancy and would not know where to find their local sexual health clinic.

More than half of the 20,000 surveyed said that the sex education lessons were poor, very poor or average – with only a quarter saying they were good.

Nearly 60% of girls aged 16 or 17 said they had never been shown how to use a condom, despite the government’s pledge that this would be taught in schools.

The majority of over 17-year-olds said they had not received any information about personal relationships in school.

In a letter to The Times, leading experts including the NSPCC and the Family Planning Association said: ‘These figures may go some way to explaining disproportionately high rates of teenager pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections in this country.’

England and Wales have the highest levels of teenage pregnancy in Europe.

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