Scottish teen-agers are less likely to smoke, drink or take drugs than they were few years ago—and they are also more likely than not to use a condom when having sex, according to researchers at Edinburgh University.
Almost a third of 15-year-olds say they have had sexual intercourse, with girls (35 percent) more likely to report this than boys (27 percent). Condom use has actually fallen since 2006 (79 percent), with 72 percent saying they had used one during last intercourse, but this is still up slightly on the 1990 rate (70 percent).
Encouraging, to us, is that Scots seem to take the sexuality of their teens somewhat in stride. We don’t see in the news any particular alarm regarding the rate of teens having sex. We do see a concern about them living in safe neighborhoods and eating right.
“The Scottish 2010 survey reported here suggests that many things are improving,” said Dr. Gerry McCartney, public health consultant with NHS Health Scotland. “Despite these improvements, there remain several worrying findings: only around half of young people feel safe in their local area and only a third of young people eat fruit and vegetables every day.”
The Health Behaviours in School-aged Children (HBSC) Scotland National Report will be available in full later today.