The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the Department of Social Development (DSD) revealed that most young people learn about sex from their friends as opposed to their families, according to a survey released on Tuesday November 27th.
The survey, titled the “IPPF Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Youth Index”, marks the organisation’s 60th anniversary celebrations and reflects concerns about the youth in Africa where 4 million young people are reported to be living with HIV/AIDS.
The survey was conducted among 7662 young people between the ages of 16 and 34 from Namibia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Respondents were asked various questions, some of which required them to provide information on when they first had sex, and whether or not they used contraception.
The survey found that:
38% of youth had friends as the primary source of information about sex;
19% learnt about sex through television and other media;
18% through school;
14% through the internet and
4% through their families.
The survey also found that 12% of youth first had sex under the age of 14, 22% between the ages of 14 and 16, and 37% after the age of 16.
“The attitudes and opinions of our next generation are invaluable; their thoughts will become tomorrow’s reality,” said Tewodros Melesse, the Director General of IPPF.
He also stated that the results show a high level of awareness and concern specifically about unprotected sex which should be viewed as something encouraging as this allows more opportunities for future campaigns among the youth to turn these levels of awareness into “consistent safe behaviour”.
Melesse hopes the survey would help generate more engagement particularly among government and NGOs on the most effective and appropriate way to progress on these concerns as the youth still need more responsible and reliable sources of information to be properly educated on sexual issues.
Visit the IPPF website for more information: www.ippf.org