European Sex Survey: Teens from Germany, Iceland Ditch Virginity Early
German kids like their sex. A survey of European teen sex habits has found that only pubescents from Iceland are quicker to jump in the sack. But when it comes to safety, the Dutch are tops.
Germany's teenagers appear to be inspired by the country's famously liberal attitudes to sex.
Only teenagers in Iceland lose their virginity earlier, at an average age of 15.7. Of the countries surveyed, Slovakia had the tardiest teens, who were on average a mature 18 when they first got it on.
Of course, health professionals tend to play down the significance of comparisons when it comes to sexual activity. In remarks reminiscent of the famous quality-over-quantity take on male endowment, the WHO's Gunta Lazdane commented, "It's not the age that counts, it's when young people are ready for it."
And German girls are apparently ready earlier than their male peers. The report reveals that 33.5 percent of 15-year-old girls in Germany have had sex, while only 22.5 percent of boys of that age have divested themselves of their virginal status. The age of consent in Germany is 14.
German parents worried that little Wolfgang and Katja are embracing their sexuality (and each other) too soon may take some solace in the report's findings that at least German teens are careful. The study shows that 94.9 percent of 15-year-old German girls used contraception the last time they had sex, compared to a slightly more lackadaisical 87.7 percent of boys.
German teens' concern for contraception seems to pay off. The birth rate among 15 to 19-year-olds in Germany was only 11.7 per 1000 population, compared to the UK's 27.8 births per 1,000 population, and -- in first place -- Bulgaria's 39.0 births per 1,000.
Presenting the report, WHO health experts called for improved sexual education for young people across the continent. Although German teens seem to already be pretty well-informed about the subject, the WHO report says German sex education is "inadequate" in many cases, adding that "in Germany, persistent Roman Catholic-inspired anti-choice opposition creates a difficult climate in which to implement sexuality education curricula."
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