These comments from the NSW Commission for Children and young people
“In line with international trends, there has been a fall in the age of onset of first sexual activity in Australia, exposing young people to a higher risk of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections,” Ms Mitchell said.
The data, released today in the Commission’s online databook, A picture of NSW children, shows that in NSW in 2008, 32% of Year 10 students (average age 15 to 16) reported having had sex, with only 63% reporting that they used a condom the last time they had sex.
“We know that properly targeted public health messages and sex education in schools can be effective. Just look at the results of measures to reduce smoking and alcohol consumption among children,” Ms Mitchell said.
“Since 1984, the proportion of children aged 12 to 17 years who smoke has fallen from 27% to 9%. The proportion who reported having drunk alcohol in the last 12 months also fell, from 72% to 56%.”
Find out more: NSW Commission for Children and Young People