S'pore youths far less likely to use condoms: Report

SINGAPORE - Youths in Singapore are 20 times less likely to use condoms during their first sexual experience than the rest of the world, a new survey has found.

In addition, the Face of Global Sex Report compiled by Durex states that the average age of first sex education received in Singapore is 14.5 years. While this is earlier than countries like China (15.3 years) and India (15.9 years), it is much later than others like Austria (12.4 years) and Mexico (12.3 years).

The survey, which reached out to over 25,000 respondents in 37 countries, found that those who used a condom the first time they had sex enjoy better sexual health and wellbeing.

Among the 506 Singaporeans surveyed, it was found that one in two Singaporeans used condoms at first sex, while 62.5 per cent of Singaporeans used condoms the last time they had sex.

Findings also indicated that Singaporeans experience sex for the first time at an average of 22 years. This is higher than respondents in Columbia and Brazil, who reported that their youngest age of sexual experience was 17.

Malaysia and Indonesia reported the region's highest average of 23 years at first sexual experience.

Respondents in Singapore who reported using a condom the first time they had sex were found to be 2.4 times more likely to believe that sex education makes them more responsible sexually. This is significantly higher than the global figure of 1.2 times.

People in Singapore who used a condom at first sex are also 2.4 times more likely to be satisfied with their overall sex life, Durex reported.

Furthermore, they are 2.1 times more likely to know where to go for guidance on sex.

Singaporeans who used a condom the first time they had sex were also found to be 2.2 times less likely to have experienced an unplanned pregnancy.

Globally, the survey findings indicate that condom use at first sexual intercourse is far from being a universal practice, a Durex spokesperson said in a statement.

Results also showed that sex education aimed at getting young people to use condoms more consistently when they initiate sex can pay off immediately, as they are more likely to protect themselves from the negative consequences of unprotected sex.

Good sex education is also likely to have long term effects, as people continue to protect themselves and their partners into adulthood.

Durex Singapore said that it will soon be launching a campaign targeted at youths, to further raise awareness on and encourage safe sexual behaviour, especially at first sex.

In a press statement, Durex also said that the report was developed with the aim of investigating the correlation between using a condom at first sex and its impact on future sexual behaviour.

ljessica@sph.com.sg

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