Younger students sexually more active, survey finds

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 July, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 July, 2006, 12:00am

A survey has found that a higher proportion of Form One and Two students are sexually active than those in Form Three and Four.

The poll conducted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong also showed more than half of the students who had sex saw no need to use birth control measures or were not sure if they should.

The university interviewed 3,299 respondents aged between 14 and 21 in June and July.

About 37 per cent (or 1,220 students) were Form One and Two students, of whom 17.2 per cent (210 students) said they had sexual experiences. Of these, 61.6 per cent did not see a need for contraception or were not sure.

Of the Form Three to Seven students, who made up 59 per cent (or 1,880 students) of the interviewees, 13.6 per cent had had sexual experiences and nearly 57 per cent said they did not use contraceptives or were not sure if they should.

No breakdown was given for university students, who made up 4 per cent of the survey.

Overall, about 14.8 per cent, or 488 students, said they had sexual experience either with their present partners or formers ones, and 11 per cent were engaged in romantic relationships.

Only 42 per cent of those who had sexual experience said they would take precautions.

Eighty-seven per cent of the students surveyed believed they were incapable of being parents, but half of them would choose parenting if faced with teenage pregnancy.

Lin Siu-fung of the university's department of psychology said students were more focused on pursuing further studies once they were promoted to Form Three, while junior form students were less concerned about that.

'This might explain why younger students had higher rate of sexual experience,' she said.

Claura Lau Siu-cho of Mother's Choice, a concern group for teenage mothers, said the findings revealed only the tip of the iceberg.

'The situation is even worse among school leavers,' she said.