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A study was undertaken by the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) in Germany into "Youth Sexuality 2015."

Recently, the Federal Centre for Health Education released its latest report on youth sexuality for 2015. This study is considered to be pioneering for the current sexual behaviour of young people in Germany.

Compared to previous research (1980 to 2010), for the present study for the first-time young people, aged 18 – 25 years old, were interviewed in this context. The emphasis, this time, was on the theme "First sexual experiences," “Contraception, behaviour and sexual health products" as well as "Sex education both in the parental home and at school."

Overview of the Study

The results of the study show: When it comes to contraception, today's young people act much more responsible than a few years ago. The 14- to be 17-year-olds are sexually active; however, they do not start earlier than those 18 to 25-year-olds today. However, they do speak a lot more about contraception with their partners. However, depending on their upbringing, there can be significant cultural differences. More after this. Sociologists and development researchers expressed satisfaction with the results and praised the contraceptive behaviour of our youth. Here I will present you with a few of the study’s key points:

The cultural differences in sexual behaviour of young people

The results of the study show that there are relatively large differences in the sexual behaviour in different cultures. More than 90 percent of German women have their first sexual experience at the age of 19 years or before, women from abroad, on the contrary, have a significantly later “first experience." In this category, about two-thirds of the interviewed women became sexually active at an age of 21 years. Striking, however, young men have their first experience rather later than females in the same age bracket. For German, there is an age difference of about 2 years, while it is even three years for men from other countries.

The main reason why young women with an immigrant background have a later “first experience”, then German girls is due to their parents. There is the fear that the parents learn of their sexual activities and will condemn that kind of behaviour or it might even lead to unfavourable consequences. However, according to the study, German girls are as well quite afraid of reprisals by the parents. However, from 18 and up this situation comes into perspective because the coming of age is in Germany significantly stronger observed than in other countries.

Contraception awareness in numbers

As mentioned earlier, experts are very pleased with the increasing contraception awareness among young people. In particular, the 14-17-year-olds are now much more prudent when it comes to contraception than in previous studies, which date back to the 1980s. At that point, a long-term comparison virtually offers itself.

Keyword "First time": In 1980, when the study of the Federal Centre for Health Education was conducted for the first time, a shockingly 29 percent of young men and nearly 20 percent of young women did not use any contraception at their first intercourse. Today much more attention is paid to the issue of contraception. Only eight percent of young men and six percent of young girls do not worry about contraception at their first time.

Are children and youth are informed today?

The study also shows impressive results when it comes to sexual education. Even today, particular, the family home plays a critical role regarding sexual education. 63 percent of surveyed girls and 51 percent of boys are sexually educated by their parents and also talk to them about contraception. It is striking that this rate drops significantly in homes with a migrant background. In this context, only 41 percent of girls and 36 percent of boys are educated by the parents.

The second most important instance for sexual education is the school. Today, in almost all schools in Germany, sex education is a standard repertoire of all schools. 93 percent of the surveyed young people in the study reported that besides at home, they also received sexual education at school.

So much for the two dominant issues of the survey – sex education and contraception. Based on the above facts; however, some questions arose, which should be answered in the following:

Why do young people today have their first sexual experience later than in earlier years, even we always talk about "the precocious youth."

It is the increasing need for a long-term partner and the fact that this is often missing. It could be concluded that this is the reason young people today have their first sexual experience on average relatively late. The mentality of the 68s with its sexual freedom seems to have finally left people’s mind.

Where does this need for a steady partner come from?

In recent years, relationships got more and more open and noncommittal. No longer are relationships only between a woman and a man and in the age of the Internet, they can be quickly and easily changed. In recent years, the typical relationship has almost entirely disappeared from our society. Researcher, however, do point out, that everything disappearing from the society at one point will gain importance and attention again. It seems exactly that might be the reason, why, for today’s young people it is important to have their first sexual encounter with a steady partner.

What does pornography do to adolescents today?

Almost everyone young person today has had to deal with pornography in one or the other way. There are hardly any differences between boys and girls. Strikingly, however, is that today's young people have a good feeling and realize that pornography is mainly for show and has nothing to do with real feelings and the resulting sexuality. Nevertheless, pornography still has an influence on today’s young people, in the form of expressed appearances. Many teenagers compare their own bodies with that of a porn star and might feel less comfortable with their own looks. This might help to explain the tendency to dieting and cosmetic corrections, which starts earlier and earlier in today’s youth.

What kind of contraception do young people from today use?

The condom is not only as a contraceptive but also functions as a protective measure against STDs and HIV. Therefore, it can be considered the most efficient contraceptive for adolescents and young adults between 14 and 25 years of age. The second place takes the pill, which, once was the contraceptive number one. All other contraceptive methods only take a small percentage according to the surveyed young people.

The participants of the study in numbers

In total 5,750 people were interviewed. 3,500 of them were aged 14-17 years, and 2,250 aged 18-25 years. On the total number of participants, 1,750 young people are from an immigration background.

In the context of the study, immigrant means: They are teenagers and young adults who are themselves not of German nationality or in which, at least, one of the parents at birth was not a German citizen.

The corresponding interviews for the study were conducted in spring and summer of 2014. However, the evaluations dragged on for quite some time.

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