Volume 93, Issue 14

Wednesday, September 22, 1999


Jocks can't opt out

Report on abuse unveiled

Funding to target women's health

Sex study shows Canadian youth get more nookie

U of T backs out of business deal

India-Pakistan conflict raises concern

For student needs, bet on the net

Tan and Reform MP discuss CASA campaign


bass ackwards

Caught on campus

Sex study shows Canadian youth get more nookie

By Paul-Mark Rendon
Gazette Staff

Although most are still not practicing safe sex, a recent survey has placed Canadian youth at the top of the list when it comes to sexual activity.

The recent survey, conducted by Durex Canada, questioned approximately 4,200 youth aged 16-21 in 14 different countries. The survey stood out from previous surveys because it also questioned youth who were sexually inactive, said Sonya Agnew, marketing director for Durex Canada.

She said some highlights of the survey included statistics indicating Canadian youth are among the earliest to lose their virginity, at an average age of 15, while only one in four of those surveyed use condoms.

Also, Canadian youth top the list at 62 per cent when it comes to knowing someone who has had an abortion, she added.

The subject of AIDS awareness was also covered by the survey, which stated 35 per cent of youth don't let AIDS influence their decision to have sex, she said. "It could be their behaviour already reflects their knowledge of AIDS prevention. On the other hand, it could mean they're not using condoms at all."

Women aged 19-21 have sex an average of 110 times a year, whereas males average 98 times a year. Compared to males, younger women aged 16-18 are also engaging in sex more often, she said.

Lisa McKann, media relations representative for the Canadian AIDS Society, said the survey's findings are not shocking. "It seems this survey does support other research," she said.

McKann added sexual activity is a hot topic for young adults since they are highly exposed to sexually transmitted diseases. "The first step is to recognize youth are having sex and to provide clear and candid info so youth are encouraged to protect themselves," she said.

Sue McGarvie, of Sue McGarvie and Associates, who provide analysis on current sexual trends, said she was also not surprised by the survey's results.

"I guess the big news is we're all having sex younger and younger. Where was I when I was 15? Sex at 15 would have been a gift from God," she said. "I think the whole idea is a lot of people who are sexually active don't use condoms."

Still, McGarvie said sex and all the negative issues surrounding the topic are best addressed through better education. "Sex isn't a bad thing. I like sex – but only if you're being responsible about it," she said.

However, Bonnie Johnson, executive director of the Planned Parenthood Federation of Canada, said although approximately 4,200 people were surveyed, it was not enough. "We have a real low sampling. For me to place a lot of stock in this study, I've got to have more people surveyed. That doesn't mean it's not correct – I'm just not going to hang my hat on it," she said.

"I don't think it's as startling, but I do like their message. Lots of kids told us they got no [sex education] at school, or what they did get was from a home economics teacher who couldn't say 'penis' without getting a red face," she said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999