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HSE launches new website to tell teens everything they need to know about sex

In a recent survey, young people said what they basically want is to be told the facts without a lecture.

Image: teens image via Shutterstock

THE HSE HAS announced the launch of a new website to provide relationship and sexual information to young people.

The website is part of the B4uDecide initiative developed by the HSE’s Crisis Pregnancy Programme in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills and the National Youth Council Ireland (NYCI)

It aims to encourage teenagers to make healthy, responsible decisions about relationships and sexual health and to delay early sex among teens.

The Programme recently surveyed 100 15-18-year-olds to collect data that gives an overview of how aware young people are of the B4uDecide website, whether they would visit the site, what information they would like on the site and where they would like it promoted.

Just the facts

More than anything, young people said that they wanted the ‘facts without the lecture’. They wanted information relating to STIs, contraception, age of consent, relationships, peer pressure, sexual assault and also more information for parents. They also wanted faster downloads, more interactivity and personal stories.

When asked where they would go for information, they said family, friends and the internet.

The website, now features video interviews with young people talking about their own experiences and real life stories from teenage parents. It also features new quizzes and polls, faster downloads and information on building healthy friendships and relationships, peer pressure, feeling good about yourself, why it’s better to wait before having sex, the age of consent, contraception, STIs, crisis pregnancy and much more.

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Speaking this week at the launch of the website, Dr Cate Hartigan, HSE Head of Health Promotion and Improvement said young people “experience immense pressure from a range of sources including their peers, boyfriends, girlfriends and the media”.

“How teenagers differ is in their ability to cope with and respond to these pressures. State organisations, parents, teachers and youth workers must work together to ensure that all young people are similarly equipped with the knowledge and confidence to handle the pressures they experience and make healthy, informed decisions about relationships and sex,” she added. “In doing this, we can help them face the many challenges that they encounter during early adolescence and not rush into sexual activity at an early age.”

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