August 5, 2009
In a national survey of Australian high school students, one-third said they have experienced unwanted sex, often due to being pressured or being drunk.
The prevalence of reports of unwanted sex suggests that sex education classes should emphasize how underage drinking can result in poor sexual decision making, said Professor Anthony Smith, the study's chief researcher.
Even so, Smith said that 90 percent of sexually active students reported their most recent sex was consensual. "For the most part, young people are having sex because they want to and they are enjoying it. They are also using condoms and contraception to reduce the risk of [STDs] and pregnancy," he said.
The Australian Research Center for Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University conducted the fourth National Survey of Secondary Students and Sexual Health. The survey polled 2,926 students in public and private schools last year in all states and territories. For the past two decades, a version of the study has been conducted about every five years. Among the latest findings: