What?! Over half of young Irish people say they've had unprotected sex
Brought to you by ellaOne.
It's risky business alright.
Having unprotected sex is NOT advised. In fact, it's deemed pretty irresponsible as there's a whole host of risks including STI's or the potential of adding another life to the mix.
Having said that, it's always easier to judge from the outside, so, our very own Her podcast - Girls With Goals - teamed up with emergency contraceptive pill ellaOne, to dive into the sex lives of young Irish people today (over 2,000 of them to be precise) to understand what's really going on. During our research we found that the majority of 18 to 24-year-olds believe that having unprotected sex (and not taking the morning after pill) is more risky than swimming with sharks, skydiving or rock climbing without a harness, yet, 56 percent of those surveyed admitted to having unprotected sex in the past - too high for comfort if you ask us.
AND 17 percent of these claim they have unprotected sex 'every time' or the 'majority of times.' Sorry, what??
The same study also found that nearly 57 percent of women aged 18 to 24 have taken the morning after pill, with around 30 percent of these having taken it three times or more.
Almost 38 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds who had taken the morning after pill before said there were other instances after unprotected sex when they could have taken the morning after pill as well but didn't. This was for a variety of reasons including believing they were not within their fertile window (which is impossible to predict) and thinking they were 'overreacting.' Twenty-seven percent admitted to 'risking it' and hoping that an unplanned pregnancy would not occur.
Not everyone takes risks and there are those who do everything they have been advised to do when it comes to enjoying safe and responsible sex, however, 33 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds said they have experienced contraceptive failure during sex.
The research highlights the subject, yet again, that not enough is being done to educate young Irish people. Not just on the importance of safe sex, but on insuring they're confident, sure, and aware of what to do in any situation they find themselves in.
Safe sex needs to be taught on a purely factual and objective basis, no matter what religious or school ethos there might be in place. It's simply a subject that's too detrimental to the lives of young Irish people to ignore.
So, is there still an awkwardness surrounding sex in our culture? If so, does it come from the educators? From our parents? Or is there generally a lack of ability to have a frank discussion surrounding this topic? Maybe it's not just students that need to be educated on the topic of safe sex, but teachers too? Relationships and sex HAVE to be talked about in such a way that's understandable for all ages, without sugar coating or ignoring vital facts.
And let's not forget, Ireland's future sex education needs to take into account not just safe sex, but everything that comes with it - emergency contraception, gender, consent - you name it.
So if you want to hear more about sex, contraception and more in Ireland, tune into Girls With Goals over the next five weeks for some shocking, funny, and as always, insightful moments.
Brought to you by ellaOne.
ellaOne is an emergency contraceptive pill that is available from pharmacies without a prescription. No other morning after pill is more effective at preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex.
ellaOne consists of one tablet which should be taken as soon as possible, but no later than 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. Each tablet of ellaOne contains 30 mg ulipristal acetate. Always read the label.