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Alison Hadlee, Brook
"Boys are pretty ill-informed about contraceptives"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 18 January, 2000, 01:46 GMT
Boys red-faced over condoms

"But darling, I'm too shy ..."


Young British men are too embarrassed to use condoms, according to a sexual health charity.

The Brooke Advisory Centre said that boys were not getting the advice and education they needed about contraception either.

The charity - which campaigns on sexual health issues - carried out research that indicated that male adolescents had a "minimal" knowledge of contraception, often knowing only about condoms.

Drink and excitement

Findings from the research were presented at a national conference in London called Don't Blame the Boys.

The research suggested that young men found it difficult to find services where free condoms were available, and embarrassment, the effects of drink or excitement meant they did not always use them.

There was also "extremely low" knowledge of the pill and emergency contraception, and most youths had difficulty discussing the issue with their partners.

Alison Hadley, national policy advisor at the charity, said: "This research shows that far more needs to be done to ensure that boys and young men are well-informed about sex and contraception.

"Boys should not be considered a lost cause - other countries have made a real impact on boys' attitudes."

Teenage pregnancy

Britain has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Western Europe, with 90,000 women under 20 becoming pregnant every year.

In Holland, 40% of boys discuss contraception with their girlfriends, compared with 15% of British boys.

The government has pledged to halve the number of teenage pregnancies in the next 10 years.

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See also:
11 Jan 00 |  Health
French schools offer morning-after pill
29 Nov 99 |  Medical notes
Emergency contraception
09 Feb 99 |  Health
Christmas sex dangers revealed
29 Nov 99 |  UK
Media linked to underage sex increase

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