Samong young people: the picture that emerges is truly worrying. Less than one in two young people (43.4%)Indeed, always use a condom. A fact that becomes even more worrying when compared with past results, constantly decreasing from 57% in 2019. The 11-13 year age group is the one that worries the most: the 55.6% declares of do not use no contraceptive method.
The search results
The one that emerges fromYouth and Sexuality Observatory of Durexnow in its sixth edition, is one worrying photograph. It is the mirror of one increasingly complex realitywhich makes a clear young people’s approach very often unaware to the themes of sexuality and affectivity, based on sometimes incorrect knowledge and confusing information that determine behaviors a risk to themselves and others. In search, conducted by Durex in collaboration with Skuola.net and EbiCoa non-profit social cooperative recognized as an Academic Spin-Off ofUniversity of Florencemore than have joined in 2023 15,000 young people between 11 and 24 years old.
First intercourse and contraception
Among the young people interviewed, the 38.7% claims to have had the first sexual intercourse between 17 and 18 years oldincreasing compared to 2022 when the predominant group was 15-16 years old, but there are also those who declare they had their first experience before 13 years (11.6%) up 4.1% compared to last year. Speaking of contraception, 62.5% of the young people interviewed declare that they rely on coitus interruptus and beyond 39.3% (+3.6% compared to 2022) incorrectly defines it as a effective method against unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted infections, with the highest percentages among very young people aged 11-13. Indeed, awareness of the ineffectiveness of coitus interruptus seems to grow with age, although this is not a deterrent to its use.
Sex and young people: dialogue is missing
The situation is further aggravated by little discussion and dialogue, at school and in the family. Young people, in fact, do not seem to feel comfortable addressing this issue at home: the 45.3% say they turn to the Internet to clarify doubts in the emotional and sexual fields and among these the majority do it for theembarrassed to ask someone (31.6%) and why he doesn’t know who to turn to (12.8%), with the risk of exposing yourself to fake newswrong and misleading information.
Only the 9.3% are aimed at parentswith percentages decreasing in the last three years, 5.9% to the doctor, The 12% ask friends for help or, simply, he doesn’t ask to nobodywith the percentage of the latter rising significantly to 20.3% in the youngest group between 11 and 13 years.
The reasons for this silence and closure lie in theembarrassment and in the shame that young people say they feel in asking or talking to someone of these issues, as well as the lack, typical of our country, in terms of education and communication on these issues.
Sex education: a necessity
While the institutions still discuss the possibility of introduce emotional and sexual education in schoolsexperts agree that an educational plan is one important tool in order to stem the side effects of a approach to sex made of poor education and devoid of those filters that educators, experts and parents could place on very young people.
It is young people who are asking for it loudly: The 93.7% of those interviewed believe that thesexuality and affectivity education should be offered as a subject in the school curriculum. In Italy, however, unlike other countries, sexual education is not a compulsory subject and is poorly spread or poorly structured. We need to act quickly to safeguard the physical and psychological well-being of our children. Starting from the education of very young people in emotions and love, we need to build a world in which children who are correctly educated in affectivity become healthy, aware and happy adults.
The opinion of the Sex Educator
«In the 80s and 90s there was the discovery of HIV and there was a lot of talk about it, widespread prevention campaigns were carried out all over the world, in all the media. We talked about condoms not only as a contraceptive method, but as the only weapon for preventing the disease“, explains Gloria Morasca, Sexual Educator also very active on social media regarding the importance of spreading a culture of affection and pleasure. «This is why young people once used condoms better and more often. Now there is less talk about it, so even young people use it less. Furthermore, especially when you are young, it can be embarrassing to use a condom if you are not yet familiar and confident with your partner.”
No to sexual self-education
«Boys often create a sort of self sexual education looking at i Internet porn videos, therefore they risk getting a wrong, aggressive, non-communicative or consensual idea of sex, starting from the measurements and type of sex. A lot depends on the parents and public opinion. Many are still against sex education in school because they mistakenly think that sex education only deals with the description of sexual relations, and that “pushes” towards homosexuality. We should perhaps change the name, call it affective education, anatomy, communication. Another topic is that of first gynecological and andrological visit, very useful for evaluating the health of the genital system but also for setting up correct prevention. But still, in Italy, we tend to go to the specialist doctor only when there is a problem and not for prevention”, concludes Gloria Morasca.
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