Too Old to Die Young
Smells Like Teen Spirit
Tips for the Underage & numbers for educators
In law, a minor is a person under a certain age — the age of majority — which legally demarcates childhood from adulthood; the age depends upon jurisdiction and application, but is typically 18. “Minor” may also be used in contexts not connected to the overall age of majority; for example, the drinking age in the United States is 21, and people below this age are sometimes referred to as “minors” even if 18. The term underage is often used to refer to those under the age of majority, but may also refer to persons who are under a certain age limit, such as the drinking age, smoking age, age of consent, marriageable age, driving age, voting age etc, with these age limits often being different than the age of majority.
The concept of “minor” is not sharply defined in most jurisdictions. The ages of criminal responsibility and consent, the age at which attendance at school ceases to be obligatory, the age at which legally binding contracts can be entered into, and so on, may all be different.
In Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea, a minor is a person under 20 years of age. In New Zealand law, a minor is a person under 20 years of age as well, but most of the rights of adulthood are assumed at lower ages: for example, entering into contracts and having a will are legally possible at 15.
In many countries, including Australia, India, Philippines, Brazil, Croatia and Colombia, a minor is defined as a person under the age of 18. In the United States, where the age of majority is set by the individual states, minor usually refers to someone under the age of 18, but can in some states be used in certain areas (such as gambling, gun ownership and the consuming of alcohol) to define someone under the age of 21. In the criminal justice system in some places, “minor” is not entirely consistent, as a minor may be tried and punished for a crime either as a “juvenile” or, usually only for “extremely serious crimes” such as murder, as an “adult”.
|Contents1 Australia2 Canada3 United Kingdom4 United States5 References6 External links|
In Australia, there are several gradations of responsibility before full legal adulthood. Those under age ten are free of all criminal responsibility under the doli incapax doctrine of United Kingdom legal tradition. Those under the age of fourteen are presumed incapable of responsibility, but this can be disputed in court. The age of full legal responsibility is 18 (except in Queensland where the age of full legal responsibility is 16). The age of majority in all states and territories is 18.
The age of majority is 18 for most purposes including sitting on a jury, voting, standing as a candidate, marriage, renting R-rated films or seeing them in a theater, buying/viewingpornography and purchasing alcohol and tobacco products. The age of consent is 16 or 17, with Queensland having a higher age of consent for anal sex set at 18 (compared to 16 for other sexual acts). A person under 18 is defined as a minor or a child.
Main article: Youth Criminal Justice Act
For all provincial laws (such as alcohol and tobacco regulation), the provincial and territorial governments have the power to set the age of majority in their respective province or territory, and the age varies across Canada. Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, and Prince Edward Island have the age set at 18, while in British Columbia, Ontario, Yukon Territories, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick the age of majority is 19. Saskatchewan legal gaming age is 18 while Saskatchewan’s legal drinking age is 19.
For Federal Law (Criminal Code, Voting, etc.), the age of majority is 18.
In England and Wales and in Northern Ireland a minor is a person under the age of 18; in Scotland, under the age of 16. The age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales and in Northern Ireland is 10; and 12 in Scotland, formerly 8 which was the lowest age in Europe.
The age of majority is 18 for most purposes including sitting on a jury, voting, standing as a candidate, buying or renting films with an 18 certificate or R18 certificate or seeing them in a cinema, viewing, hiring, or being depicted in pornographic materials, suing without a litigant friend, being civilly liable, accessing adoption records and purchasing alcohol, tobacco products, knives and fireworks. The rules on minimum age for sale of these products are frequently broken so in practice drinking and smoking takes place before the age of majority; however many UK shops are tightening restrictions on them by asking for identifying documentation from potentially underage customers.
Driving certain large vehicles, acting as personal license holder for licensed premises and adopting a child are only permitted after the age of 21. The minimum age to drive a HGV1 vehicle was reduced to 18 however certain vehicles e.g steam rollers require you to be of 21 years of age before you are allowed to obtain a license for this type.
In the United States as of 1995, minor is legally defined as a person under the age of 18, although, in the context of alcohol, people under the age of 21 may be referred to as “minors”, However, not all minors are considered “juveniles” in terms of criminal responsibility. As is frequently the case in the United States, the laws vary widely by state.
In eleven states, including Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, South Carolina, and Texas, a “juvenile” is legally defined as a person under 17., In two states, New York and North Carolina, “juvenile” refers to a person under 16. In other states a juvenile is legally defined as a person under 18.
Under this distinction, those considered juveniles are usually tried in juvenile court, and they may be afforded other special protections. For example, in some states a parent or guardian must be present during police questioning, or their names may be kept confidential when they are accused of a crime. For many crimes (especially more violent crimes), the age at which a minor may be tried as an adult is variable below the age of 18 or (less often) below 16 [Gaines, Larry K and Roger Leroy Miller. “Criminal Justice in Action” 4th ed., Thompson Wadsworth Publishing, 2007. Pg 495]. For example, in Kentucky, the lowest age a juvenile may be tried as an adult, no matter how heinous the crime, is 14.
In most states, juveniles cannot be incarcerated with adult inmates, even if the child is charged as an adult. This is also discouraged by the federal government, which prefers funding only if children and adults are housed in separate facilities.
The death penalty in the U.S. for those who committed a crime while under the age of 18 was discontinued by the U.S. Supreme Court Case Roper v. Simmons in 2005. The court’s 5-4 decision was written by Justice Kennedy and joined by Justices Ginsburg, Stevens, Breyer, and Souter, and cited international law, child developmental science, and many other factors in reaching its conclusion.
The twenty-sixth amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1971, granted all citizens the right to vote in every state, in every election, from the age of 18.
Main article: Minors detained in the global war on terror
The US Department of Defense took the position that they would not consider the “enemy combatants” they held in extrajudicial detention in the Guantanamo Bay detainment camps to be minors unless they were less than sixteen years old. In the event they only separated three of the more than a dozen detainees who were under 16 from the adult prison population. All the several dozen detainees who were between sixteen and eighteen years of age were detained with the adult prison population. Now those under 18 are kept separate in line with the age of majority and world expectations.
Some states, including Florida, have passed laws allowing a person who commits an extremely heinous crime such as murder to be tried as an adult, regardless of age. These laws, however, have faced the challenges of the American Civil Liberties Union.
(Katy Perry seems to be in every teenage dream- pic on the side)
So Called :
Sexually explicit conversations with peers
Obscenities and jokes within cultural norm
Sexual innuendo, Flirting and courtship
Interest in erotica
Hugging, kissing, holding hands
Foreplay, (petting, making out, fondling) [fn1]
Mutual masturbation [fn1]
Sexual preoccupation/anxiety (interfering in daily functioning)
Polygamist sexual intercourse (promiscuity [fn3])
Sexually aggressive themes/obscenities
Sexual graffiti (especially chronic and impacting individuals)
Embarrassment of others with sexual themes
Violation of others’ body space
Pulling skirts up/pants down
Single occurrence of peeping, exposing, frottage with known agemates
Mooning and obscene gestures [fn4]
Compulsive masturbation (especially chronic or public)
Degradation/humiliation of self or others with sexual themes
Attempting to expose others’ genitals
Chronic preoccupation with sexually aggressive pornography
Sexually explicit conversation with significantly young children
Touching genitals without permission (i.e. grabbing, goosing)
Sexually explicit threats (verbal or written)
Stop: Illegal behaviors defined by law
Obscene phone calls, voyeurism, exhibitionism, frottage, sexual harassment
Sexual contact with significant age difference (child sexual abuse)
Forced sexual contact (sexual assault)
Forced penetration (rape)
Sexual contact with animals (bestiality)
Genital injury to others
[fn1] – Moral, social or familial rules may restrict, but these behaviors are not abnormal, developmentally harmful, or illegal when private, concentual, equal, and non-coercive.
[fn2] – Stable monogamy is defined as a single sexual partner throughout adolescence. Serial monogamy indicates long-term (several months or years) involvement with a single partner which ends and is then followed by another
[fn3] – Polygamist intercourse is defined as indiscriminate sexual contact with more than one partner during the same period of time.
[fn4] – Mooning and obscene gestures have been called ‘Americana.’ Although many of the yellow flags are not necessarily outside the range of behavior exhibited in teen peer groups, some evaluation and response is desirable in order to support healthy and responsible attitudes and behavior.
In 2009, 46% of high school students had sexual intercourse and 13.8% had four or more sex partners during their life. Prior to the sexual activity, 21.6% drank alcohol or used drugs. Only 38.9% used a condom.
In 2009, 34% of currently sexually active high school students did not use a condom during their last sexual intercourse.
In 2006, an estimated 5,259 young people (ages 13-24) were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.
Each year, approximately 19 million new STD infections occur, and almost half of them are among youth ages 15-24.
according to :CDC
One of the things that provides many parents concern is teen sex. Most parents worry about whether their teenagers are behaving responsibly when it comes to sexual intercourse. Indeed, from worries about unplanned pregnancies to concerns over sexually transmitted diseases, many parents worry about how sexually active their teens are.
And, indeed, there is some cause for alarm. The Guttmacher Institute guttmacher.org reports that the United States has the highest levels of teen pregnancy among developed nations. This is hardly surprising, since nearly 75 percent of teenagers have had intercourse by the time they turn 20; only 15 percent report remaining virgins until the age of 21. Additionally, the Institute reports that teens in the US are more likely to have sex before the age of 15, and to have more than one partner in a year, than teenagers in Sweden, France, Canada and the United Kingdom.
However, there is some good news. Child Trends Data Bank childtrendsdatabank.org reports that condom use is increasing. The reported instances of having protected sex have risen from 46 percent in 1995 to 63 percent in 2005. (Child Trends reports that condom use has remained steady from 2005 to 2007.) Birth control use by teenage girls, however, has not followed this trend. Birth control pill use has remained steady at somewhere between 16 and 18 percent since 1993. This probably accounts for teen sex statistics that show that just under 33 percent of teen girls become pregnant (according to Teen Pregnancy Statistics http://www.pregnantteenhelp.org).
With a teen pregnancy rate that is nearly twice the rate of that in other developed countries, many parents rightfully worry what can be done. Interestingly, despite a recent government push for abstinence only sex education is schools, teen pregnancy statistics, and teen sex statistics remain in line with trends. As a result, the Kaiser Family Foundation http://www.kff.org reports, 80 percent of parents think that contraception and protective practices (such as condom use) should be taught as part of a comprehensive sex education course.
Teen sex stats remain relatively stable, but intercourse has dropped to 60.5 percent among 12th graders in the US to 66.7 percent. The Guttmacher Institute found that 50 percent of teens between the ages of 15 and 19 in the US have had oral sex. The indication is that oral sex is beginning to be seen as an alternative to intercourse. And, even though this can prevent come teen pregnancies, many teenagers are under-informed with regard to the fact that STDs can still be caught through oral sex.
The teen sex stats that we see today should serve as a reminder that teenagers need to be guided. They need education and knowledge of what’s available in order to help combat teen pregnancy and STDs. Teenagers should understand that there are physical, psychological and emotional effects that come with sex. They should also be taught that the choices they make now can affect them later in life. But this teaching should not be done with fear.
Teen sex stats show that making sex forbidden doesn’t have an impact on the trends. Perhaps treating teenagers as adults, with respect for their intelligence and decision making ability can help where other methods have so far failed to stem the tide of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases in the US
Three Tips for Teen Transitions
Identify important teen transitions.
Communicate about or recognize and celebrate these important life events.
Encourage your teen to explore healthy growth opportunities.
Identify significant teen transitions.
Important transitions in adolescence can be a one-time thing, such as a first date, first job, or first driver’s license, or the gradual progression toward maturity, including physical, social, and emotional change. Figuring out which transitions are most important to your teen is a critical first step in helping him or her move to adulthood. What “counts” for one teen may not matter much to another teen. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Tune in to the things that seem important in his daily life.
Notice how she spends her days so you can flag changes.
Ask how he feels about different transitions.
Note how he talks about transitions with friends.
Talk about important transitions in your own adolescence.
Watch for signs of happiness, joy, stress, anxiety, or depression surrounding change.
Communicate about and recognize or celebrate important life events.
Sending the message that you are “dialed in” to your teen as he takes significant steps along the path to adulthood is an important way to say “I love you, I care about you, and I hear you!” Teens look for signals that they are making real progress toward becoming adults and care very much what you think about them, even if they don’t always show it. Here is what you can do.
Talk regularly – and casually (teens hate “the big talk”) – about the transitions you see him tackling.
Recognize these transitions through small gifts, privileges, words, or deeds.
Celebrate with a party, a family dinner, or just a special time alone.
Encourage your teen to explore healthy growth opportunities.
In the middle of a society that pays little attention to adolescent transition stand some time-tested organizations that offer teens real opportunities for achievement and reward. Here are some ways you can help.
Point him toward structured, goal-oriented activities where recognition and appreciation are built in.
Identify extracurricular opportunities that will promote her development through the progression of skills or contributions. Some organizations such as summer camps, service-learning clubs, and Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have embedded rites of passage.
Encourage him to invest time and effort in clubs, activities, or athletics with a clear path toward advancement.
Addendum: Other Key Findings
Teens’ involvement with alcohol increases steadily as they mature.
Younger teens are more likely than older teens to drink because of peer pressure.
Older teens are more likely than younger teens to drink to escape problems.
High Sense of Self teens are particularly resistant to peer pressure to drink.
Teens who are alcohol Repeaters and Experimenters are much more likely than teens who are alcohol Avoiders to have immediate family members who drink a lot.
The most commonly used drug among teens is marijuana.
Younger teens are more likely than older teens to use drugs to feel grown up.
Older teens are more likely than younger teens to use drugs because of stress.
High Sense of Self teens are considerably less likely than other teens to be susceptible to peer pressure to use drugs.
Low Sense of Self teens are more likely than are high Sense of Self teens to use drugs to escape from or forget about problems.
Low Sense of Self teens are more likely to have friends who use drugs.
About half of teens have engaged in some sexual activity other than kissing.
Teens’ motivations for having sex do not vary widely by age.
The most common reasons for teens to have sex are to strengthen the relationship with a partner and to have fun.
High Sense of Self teens are more resistant to peer pressure when it comes to decisions about sex and are more likely to refuse an offer to have sex.
Low Sense of Self teens are more likely than high Sense of Self teens to cite boredom and depression as reasons to have sex.
Low Sense of Self teens are more likely than high Sense of Self teens to associate sex with negative emotional outcomes such as depression or loss of self-respect.
Girls are more likely than boys to link sex with loss of self-respect and depression.
Drinking and Drugs
Teens who avoid drinking and drugs are more likely to have a favorable self-image.
One of the most common reasons to avoid drinking or using drugs is to please parents.
Low Sense of Self teens are more likely to feel strongly that it is okay to drive after drinking or using drugs.
Drug and alcohol Repeaters are particularly likely to have friends who drink or use drugs a lot.
Drinking, Drugs, Sex and Driving
Teens who choose to avoid potentially destructive behaviors are considerably more inclined than those who do not to view drinking, drugs and sex as very harmful for someone their age.
Substance Avoiders are more likely to associate specific negative outcomes, such as loss of parent trust, increase risk of auto accidents, chance of risky sexual behaviors and increased risk of poor academic performance, with drinking.
Parents and Teens
The quality of parent-teen relationships is likely to play a critical role in determining teens’ mood and, thus, their susceptibility to destructive decision-making.
Teens whose parents set guidelines for their behaviors are more inclined to feel positively about themselves and to avoid drinking and using drugs.
High Sense of Self teens are more likely than other teens to communicate openly and honestly with their parents and to describe themselves as close to their parents.
Low Sense of Self teens are particularly likely to feel that they spend an insufficient amount of time with their parents.
Younger teens are significantly more likely than are older teens to say that their relationship with their parents makes them feel very good about themselves.
Teens who avoid drinking and drugs are more likely to have positive relationships with parents.
STATISTICS ON TEENS
Think teen culture in America is just about hanging out with friends, movies and fun? While they are not representative of every teenager, they do point to what goes on in American teen culture.
Statistics on Teen Sex
-Nationally, more than half of teenagers are virgins until they are at least 17 years of age (Sex and America’s Teenagers, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, New York, 1994).
-In the U.S., 7 in 10 women who had sex before age 14, and 6 in 10 of those who had sex before age 15 report having had sex involuntarily. (Facts in Brief: Teen Sex and Pregnancy, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, New York, 1996).
-Nationally, one-quarter of 15 year old females and less than 30% of 15 year old males have had sex, compared with 66% of 18 year old females, and 68% of 18 year old males who have had sexual intercourse. (A Statistical Portrait of Adolescent Sex, Contraception, and Childbearing, National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Washington, DC, 1998).
Statistics on Teen pregnancy
-Nationally, nearly one million young women under age 20 become pregnant each year. That means close to 2800 teens get pregnant each day.( Facts in Brief: Teen Sex and Pregnancy, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, New York, 1996).
-Approximately 4 in 10 young women in the U.S. become pregnant at least once before turning 20 years old.( Facts in Brief: Teen Sex and Pregnancy, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, New York, 1996).
-Teen childbearing alone costs U.S. taxpayers nearly $7 billion annually for social services and lost tax revenues. (Kids Having Kids: Economic Costs and Social Consequences of Teen Pregnancy, Prebecca Maynard (ed.), The Urban Institute, Washington, DC, 1997).
Statistics on Rape in Teen:
-Teens 16 to 19 were three and one-half times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault. (National Crime Victimization Survey. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, 1996.)
-According to the Justice Department, one in two rape victims is under age 18; one in six is under age 12. [Child Rape Victims, 1992. U.S. Department of Justice.]
-While 9 out of 10 rape victims are women, men and boys are also victimized by this crime. In 1995, 32,130 males age 12 and older were victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault. [National Crime Victimization Survey. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, 1996.]
Sexually Transmitted Diseases Among Teens
-In the U.S., 1 in 4 sexually active teens become infected with an STD every year.2 Some common STDs are chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital warts (also known as HPV – human papillomavirus), and herpes. (Facts in Brief: Teen Sex and Pregnancy, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, New York, 1996).
Teens are victims of violence, murder and crime
In 1998, the young, blacks, and males were most vulnerable to violent crime:
— 1 in 12 persons age 12 to 15, compared to 1 in 357 age 65 or more
— 1 in 24 blacks, compared to 1 in 28 whites
— 1 in 23 males, compared to 1 in 33 females
(Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice)
-Teenagers and young adults were more likely to become victims of violent crime than older persons. In 1998, about a third of all victims of violent crime were ages 12 to 19 and almost half of all victims of violence were under age 25. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice)
-The percent of students reporting street gang presence at school nearly doubled between 1989 and 1995, increasing from 15.3% to 28.4%. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice)
-Homicide is the second leading cause of death for persons 15-24 years of age and is the leading cause of death for African-American and Hispanic youths in this age-group (Anderson RN, Kochanek KD, Murphy SL. Report of final mortality statistics, 1995. Monthly vital statistics report 45, 11(2 Suppl) 1997).
-In 1996, 6,548 young people 15-24 years old were victims of homicide. This amounts to an average of 18 youth homicide victims per day in the U.S. ( National Summary of Injury Mortality Data, 1988-1996. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, November, 1998 (Unpublished)).
Statistics on Teen Smoking
-Approximately 80% of adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18. Every day, nearly 3,000 young people under the age of 18 become regular smokers.
More than 5 million children living today will die prematurely because of a decision they will make as adolescents—the decision to smoke cigarettes. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
-An estimated 2.1 million people began smoking on a daily basis in 1997. More than half of these new daily smokers were younger than age 18. This translates to more than 3,000 new youth smokers per day. The rate of youth initiation of daily smoking increased somewhat from 55.5 to 74.9 per 1,000 potential new users between 1991 and 1996, but remained level in 1997(the 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse)
-Nearly all first use of tobacco occurs before high school graduation.
-Most young people who smoke are addicted to nicotine and report that they want to quit but are unable to do so.
-Tobacco is often the first drug used by young people who use alcohol and illegal drugs.
-Among young people, those with poorer grades and lower self-images are most likely to begin using tobacco.
-Over the past decade, there has been virtually no decline in smoking rates among all teens. Among black adolescents, however, the prevalence of smoking has declined dramatically.
-Young people who come from a low-income family and have fewer than two adults living in their household are especially at risk for becoming smokers.
(Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People, U.S. Surgeon General Report, 1994)
Statistics on Drugs among Teens
-There were an estimated 708,000 new inhalant users in 1997, up from 332,000 in 1989. The rate of first use among youths age 12-17 rose significantly from 1989 to 1995, from 8.4 to 18.8 per 1,000 potential new users, and remained level after that. For young adults age 18-25, there was an increase in the rate of first use between 1989 and 1996 (from 3.7 to 10.7 per 1,000 potential new users) and a leveling off in 1997 (9.2 per 1,000 potential new users). (The 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse)
-More than half (56 percent) of youths age 12-17 reported that marijuana was easy to obtain in 1998. This is an increase from 1992, when 51 percent reported that marijuana was easy to obtain. (The 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse)
-The percent of the population reporting that they had been approached by someone selling drugs in the past month decreased from 9.2 percent in 1992 to 6.1 percent in 1998. However, among youths age 12-17 years, the percent was 13.7 percent in 1998, similar to the percentage in 1992 (13.4 percent). (The 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse)
Statistics on Alcohol among Teens
-More than 40% of teens who admitted drinking said they drink when they are upset; 31% said they drink alone; 25% said they drink when they are bored; and 25% said they drink to “get high.” (U.S. Surgeon General, 1991)
-Each year, students spend $5.5 billion on alcohol, more than they spend on soft drinks, tea, milk, juice, coffee or books combined. On a typical campus, per capita students spending for alcohol–$446 per student–far exceeds the per capita budget of the college library. (Eigen, 1991 in the 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse).
-Nearly one-third of college students surveyed said they wished alcohol was not available at campus events, and nearly 90% wished that other drugs would disappear from campuses. (Core Institute, 1993)
-Approximately 240,000 to 360,000 of the nation’s 12 million current undergraduates will ultimately die from alcohol-related causes–more than the number that will get MAs and PhDs combined. (Eigen, 1991 in the 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse)
-Sixty percent of college women diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease were drunk at the time of infection. (Advocacy Institute, 1992)
Statistics on Drinking and Driving Among Teens
-Eight young people a day die in alcohol-related crashes. (CSAP, 1996) (Mothers Against Drunk Driving website)
Statistics on Teens and Television
-Percentage of teenagers 13-17 who can name the city where the US Constitution was written (Philadelphia): 25. Percentage of teenagers 13-17 who know where you find the zip code 90210 (Beverly Hills): 75 ( Survey conducted by the National Constitution Center (NCC), Philadelphia, 1998. )
-Percentage of children ages 5-17 who have a TV in their bedroom: 52 (BJK&E Media report, The New York Times, December 30, 1997. )
-Hours per day that TV is on in an average US home: 7 hours, 12 minutes (BJK&E Media report, The New York Times, December 30, 1997.
-Number of minutes per week that parents spend in meaningful conversation with their children: 38.5 (American Family Research Council, “Parents Fight ‘Time Famine’ as Economic Pressures Increase,” 1990.)
Statistics on Dropouts
-In 1997, the dropout rate for students ages 16 to 24 was 11 percent, indicating a slight decrease from the 1990 figure. The dropout rate for white students is lower than the rates for Hispanic and black students. For example, in 1997, the dropout rate for white, non-Hispanic students was 8 percent, 13 percent for black students and 25 percent for Hispanic students. (National Center for Education Statistics, U. S. Department of Education, Digest of Education Statistics, 1998, Table 105, page 124).
According to Dennis Campbell for the Guardian:
What teens really think about sex
Experts shocked as report reveals depths of ignorance that lead many to unsafe sex
Eight out of 10 teenagers lose their virginity when they are drunk, feeling pressurised into having sex or are not using contraception, a survey has revealed.
The research, conducted by the Trust for the Study of Adolescence, will alarm government ministers, who are concerned that the UK has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in western Europe and that sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as chlamydia, are found mainly in those aged 16-19.
The survey of 3,000 London secondary school pupils aged 15-18 found that:
· 39 per cent had sex for the first time when one or other partner was not equally willing
· Almost three in 10 lost their virginity for ‘negative reasons’, such as wanting to please a boyfriend
· 51 per cent of girls and 37 per cent of boys had had unprotected sex
· 58 per cent of girls and 39 per cent of boys had slept with someone at least once without using a condom
· Two in five wish they had waited longer before having sex
· Only 20 per cent who have sex for the first time take precautions, are in a steady relationship or feel the timing is right
Anna Martinez of the Sex Education Forum said. ‘These results show that there’s a lot of ignorance among young people about sex and that too many are becoming involved in high-risk sexual behaviour before they have had the chance to learn about issues such as how to resist pressure from partners, friends and the media to have sex. Schools, parents and professionals are failing young people by not giving them adequate support and information.’
The trust’s report, carried out for the Naz sexual health project in west London, reveals for the first time how sexual attitudes and experiences vary between ethnic groups. While 80 per cent of all the teenagers surveyed were ‘not sexually competent’ the first time they had sex, that figure rose to 93 per cent for boys of black-Caribbean origin, for example. And 32 per cent of boys of black African origin did not use contraception when they first had sex, compared to 10 per cent of white British pupils and 18 per cent of interviewees overall.
Many of those from ethnic minority backgrounds knew little about about how to prevent and identify the symptoms of STIs, and black Caribbean young men were more likely than others to have risky sex.
Bryan Teixeira, chief executive of the Naz project, said many young people from ethnic minority backgrounds ended up confused about sex because, while their parents often have traditional views, sex was discussed openly at school. Boys and young men were a particular problem, said Teixeira, as they were more likely to indulge in risky sexual behaviour and to have more partners than girls.
Although few places have as many pupils from an ethnic minority background as the Londoners in the survey – well over half – the results paint a worrying picture of the sex lives of Britain’s 5.2 million teenagers.
However, just 18 per cent of respondents had had sex before 16, the age of consent, which contradicts the impression of widespread underage sex and shows no increase on statistics from previous studies.
The report’s call for Sex and Relationships Education to be made compulsory in schools to help tackle what Teixeira calls ‘widespread knowledge gaps’ and to help pupils ensure their sexual welfare, was backed by CosmoGIRL magazine, which has been running a high-profile Just Say Know campaign.
Editor Celia Duncan said: ‘Some of the findings in this report are shocking and underline the case for all secondary school pupils to be taught not just about how to create a baby, but also about how to handle a guy who is pressurising you to have sex.
‘There are too many myths bandied about in the playground, such as ‘you can’t get pregnant your first time’. If pupils remain ignorant about sex, the consequences will be higher rates of STIs and unwanted pregnancies.’
A £50m Department of Health advertising campaign promoting responsible sex is due to start this autumn.
A teenager’s view
· Bethany Cole, a 16-year-old schoolgirl from Buckingham, thinks there is still not enough sex education.
‘Most people I know haven’t had sex yet and didn’t have sex before turning 16. They don’t care about breaking the law as they think no one will find out. Some male friends joke about sex and say that they’ve ‘had it’, but I suspect much of that is just male bravado. Me and my girlfriends do talk about sex; for example, if someone has had sex for the first time with a new boyfriend, or asks us if she can catch a sexually transmitted infection from something she did at the weekend. But my friends are pretty responsible, and use condoms, for example.
I’m lucky. I got a lot of sex education at school. Our form tutor gave one lesson over to answering questions that we’d all submitted anonymously, to minimise the embarrassment, which taught me a lot. Like how you can catch a STI or know if you’ve got one, and how to deal with peers or boyfriends who are pressuring you to have sex.
It’s crazy that many other schools, including one near mine, don’t give education on sex and relationships. It should be compulsory at all secondary schools – there’d be fewer teenage pregnancies, STIs and infertility caused by people leaving an STI untreated.
Some people say that if you teach young people about sex they’ll be more likely to do it. But I’ve been taught about the dangers of smoking since I was 12 and haven’t been tempted to try that. Proper sex education clues you up.’
One-quarter of girls have underage sex but fewer than one-third go to family planning clinics to get advice on contraception or sexually transmitted diseases, says a study.
One-quarter of girls have underage sex but fewer than one-third go to family planning clinics to get advice on contraception or sexually transmitted diseases, says a study.
Population Trends, published by National Statistics, shows the number of teenage girls having underage sex increased from fewer than one in ten in the Seventies, to one in four in the Nineties. Only 1 per cent of women born in 1931 lost their virginity before the age of 16. The number visiting a family planning clinic has increased from 1 per cent to only 8 per cent, in the 25 years.
Campaigners for sex education and advice for young people were alarmed that the majority of underage sexually active teenagers did not seek proper contraceptive advice.
They said those under 16 did not visit specialist clinics because they were not sure if they were allowed to. Clinics had a duty to try to become more relevant and user-friendly for vulnerable youngsters.
Although the report shows the number of girls under 16 becoming pregnant has not altered much in the 25 years, public health officials are alarmed at the rapidly rising numbers of teenagers with sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea.
Juliet Hillier, of Brook, the young people’s sex-advice charity, said: “Underage teenagers are highly unlikely to visit their family doctor and if they are not going to specialist clinics then it is unlikely they are going anywhere for contraceptive advice.
The research showed Pill usage among women had decreased slightly for all age groups. One in seven 16- and 17-year-old girls was on the Pill.
Ms Hillier added: “Doctors are allowed to prescribe the Pill to underage teenagers, but young people also need to use condoms to stop the increasing numbers suffering from sexually transmitted diseases.”
However, Cordelia Oddie of Family and Youth Concern, a conservative family charity, said that clinics were behaving irresponsibly by putting young girls on the Pill and handing out condoms.
“There is a big teenage sex industry,” she said. “But these clinics should be finding out why such young girls are having sex. Good doctors know sex at too young an age is physically and emotionally harmful. The youngsters should wait until they are 17.”
The report, which looks at the trends in fertility and contraception in the last quarter of the 20th century, also shows that women are twice as likely as their own mothers to remain childless. One in ten women born in 1940 remained childless compared with one in five born in 1960.
Women are also more than twice as likely to be single parents. In 1996 there were 1.6 million one-parent families. In 1976 there were just 750,000. The number of children in one-parent families has more than doubled, from 1.3 million in 1976 to 2.8 million in 1996, with four out of ten children being born outside marriage in 1999, compared with one in ten in 1979.
On average, women give birth at 29, three years older than in the Seventies. If the patterns have continued the average number of children born to each woman will have dropped to 1.7 in 1999, the lowest since 1977.
Fertility rates vary widely across the country, with women in the east London borough of Newham being the most fertile in Britain, with 92 live births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44. Cambridge has the lowest fertility rate, with just 39 live births per 1,000.
The report shows marriage has continued to decline over the past 25 years, with an increasing number of people choosing to live together. The number of women under 50 who have never been married but are living with a man has trebled to three in ten since the Seventies. The number of cohabiting couples is expected to double to three million in the next 20 years.
Health inequalities between social classes increased in the 25 years. Life expectancy grew by 5.7 years to 77.7 years for professional men and by only 1.7 years for the unskilled, to 68.2.
Too Old to Die Young – Smells Like Teen Spirit
(in the images: Macaulay Culkin Spitting, Katy Perry, and M.Culkin smoking)