November 6, 2008

How Teens View Sex Needed in Sex Ed

Alcohol advice and an awareness of teen attitudes need to play a greater role in sex education for teenagers, British researchers recommend.

Researchers at the University of Sheffield in England found differences between the way female and male teens ages 14 to 16 viewed a series of sexual scenarios.

Ten focus groups were held with 35 teenagers. The participants were presented with a series of scenarios -- a girl and a boy both reluctant to have sex, a girl who had had a number of partners and a girl who felt pressured to have sex because her friends had paired off with two boys leaving her with a third.

"The girls' responses were more empathic and complex because they face more complex social pressures when it comes to having sex," Dr. Mark Hayter said in a statement.

"The young men on the other hand appeared to follow behavior patterns that included pressuring girls to have sex, often with the use of alcohol. In one of the boys' focus groups there was even a suggestion that it was OK for a boy to force his girlfriend to have sex and the group started trying to differentiate between 'just a bit of pressure' and 'proper rape.'"

The findings are published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.