Results of the fifth National Survey of Australian Secondary Students and Sexual Health provide a picture of teenagers demonstrating similar sexual behaviours to those in previous surveys, with individuals generally acting responsibly and being mostly happy about the choices they make.
The survey has been carried out by La Trobe researchers at regular intervals since 1992 and is the most comprehensive of its kind into the sexual behaviour, attitudes and health of young people at secondary school.
It involved more than 2,000 students in years 10, 11 and 12 at Government, Catholic and Independent schools in all states and territories.
- 50% of young people expressed significant dissatisfaction with sex education at schools, citing irrelevance to their real experiences, lack of relationship advice and lack of discussion of same-sex issues as problems.
- 36% of students commonly asked their mother about sex, 41% asked a female friend.
- 86% of teenagers said the last time they'd had sex they'd used a condom if one was available.
- 23% of sexually active students had sex with three or more people in the past year.
- 25% of sexually active students reported an experience of unwanted sex of some kind.
- 50% of those who had not had intercourse felt good about this decision, with religion, culture and pressure from parents being less important than personal decision making.
- Overall low numbers reported frequent cyber bullying.