While the English are sometimes considered to be humble and above all phlegmatic, such is not the case when it comes to sexuality. A study conducted by an Anglo-Saxon institute, carried out every ten years since 1990 reveals that, while the majority of young people have their first sexual encounter at the age of 16, certain 'traditions' are changing.
Vigorous sexual education
Beyond mere figures, the study also emphasises the need for effective sex and relationship education, including the issue of consent and safety in relation to sexual practices.
Ruth Lewis, the study's lead author, said:
We want to give young people as much information as possible so that they can maximise their well-being from the start of their sexual lives. It is crucial to monitor current trends in adolescent sexual practices so that prevention programmes are tailored to the realities of young people's experiences.
A more widespread experience among young people
This is particularly true of anal sex, which is becoming increasingly common. Among 16-24 year olds, one in four men and one in five women have had anal sex in the past year. In contrast, in 1990, only one in ten women and men had had this kind of sex.
What is even more incredible is that the act is spreading fastest among 16-18 year olds. Leaving aside the figures, the study seeks above all to demonstrate the importance of sex education. It is mainly about mutual consent and the safety with which the act is performed.