Early Sex – The Evidence
Research with 7,441 Irish people found the following:
- The majority of young people have sex for the first time at age 17 or older. 21% of girls and 30% of boys have sex before age 17.
- Girls and boys who had sex under age 17 were more likely to say that they regretted it, that it was not a natural follow-on in their relationship and that they were not in love with the person.
- Girls and boys who had sex under age 17 were also more likely to say that they never had sex with that person again.
- Girls who had sex under age 17 were over 70% more likely to have a crisis pregnancy in their lifetime.
- Boys and girls who had sex under age 17 were twice as likely to get a sexually transmitted infection in their lifetime.
- Young people who have sex before 17 are less likely to use contraception.
In 2013, 1,381 teenage girls gave birth and became teenage parents. Sexually transmitted infections are increasing and young people are not aware of how easy it is to get one.
The research findings are from research reports published by the Crisis Pregnancy Programme. To read more about this research, visit the Research Reports section on the Crisis Pregnancy Programme website.