Glasgow is ready to listen to what young people have to say on sexual health issues
Teenagers from the across the city are being asked to participate in a major consultation to discover what they really think, feel and understand about sex and relationships.
Councillor James Coleman, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, chairs the Teenage Pregnancy Steering Group and took part in an earlier consultation with parents. He believes that discovering the truth about how young people regard sex and relationships is the key to challenging the current situation with teenage pregnancy.
He said: - "We can't escape the fact that we have a problem with young people having sex when they are not ready or able to deal with the consequences.
"It has come to a point where we have to listen to an honest assessment of young people's attitudes to sex and relationships. We may end-up not liking what we hear back from them, but it's better that we do know so we can do something to help.
"This questionnaire will be a big step forward in helping us to understand what we are dealing with."
The extensive questionnaire has been developed by the Glasgow City Council and NHS Greater Glasgow joint Teenage Pregnancy Steering Group and it aims to develop a clearer picture on a wide range of themes such as:
- how young people see themselves
- where they get information on sexual health and relationships
- what attitudes they have to sexual and relationships
- what they feel about sexual health education in schools.
- what they feel about sexual health education in the home
- their attitude towards any sexual experience
- what skills they have to deal with sexual health and relationship issues.
The questionnaire will be available on-line from this week until the end of November and will be followed up with a more in-depth consultation with small groups of young people. These groups will give researchers the chance to explore fully the issues raised in the questionnaire.
Entirely confidential, the survey is the companion to the consultation on parental attitudes to teaching children about sexual health and relationship issues. Published last week, the consultation found parents wanted their children to learn about the subject from an earlier age and for them to be taught in a more open and meaningful way.
Together with the young people's consultation, it is hoped that all the information gathered can be used to create an effective strategy to deal with sexual health and relationship education.
Notes to Editor
The questionnaire is available on www.youthquestions.org.uk or by telephoning 0141 287 6862 for a paper copy.A number of school pupils from S3-S6 will also be asked to complete a paper version of the questionnaire. This will be done with the approval of their parents.
Flyers will be circulated so that young people know where to access the consultation.
A 2002 survey indicated that 34% of fifteen-year-old boys and 29% of fifteen-year-old girls in Glasgow had had sexual intercourse. Around a fifth had not used contraception.
In 2002 the rate of 13-15-year-old pregnancy in Glasgow was 9.9 pregnancies per 1000 population and 52.2 for the 13-19-year-old age range. The comparable Scottish rates were 7.4 and 42.1 respectively.
General figures indicate that 42 per cent of boys and 84 per cent of girls who first had sexual intercourse between the age of thirteen and fourteen regret having done so.
It has also been found that 9 per cent of boys and 13 per cent of girls reported peer pressure at their first sexual intercourse.
For further information contact Ione Campsie at Glasgow City Council Press Office on 0141 287 0910 or NHS Greater Glasgow 's Press Office on 0141 201 4429.