75% of young adults had unprotected sex but most go untested for STIs

THREE in four young adults have had unprotected sex – but less than two in five have ever been tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

An analysis of sexual behaviour of adults aged 18 to 34 – carried out by Red C on behalf of the Irish Examiner – also found men are more casual in their attitude to unprotected sex and more likely to have one-night stands.

On average, men admitted to six one-night stands, double that of women. The more casual of both sexes admitted to 11 one-night stands or more; however two thirds lived to regret it, particularly women.

Overall, a third of the 500 adults surveyed said they had sex within the first three dates.

Niall Behan, chief executive of the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) blamed the casual attitude to safe sex on the failure by people to have “the conversation”.

“The quality of the conversation being had, both in Irish households, and in wider society regarding our sexual behaviour, needs to vastly improve,” he said.

Unsurprisingly, the poll also found two in five felt the quality of sex and relationship education they had received at school was poor.

The findings, described as ‘alarming’ by the Dublin Aids Alliance, more than a quarter of males surveyed said they had had 11 or more sexual partners, one in five women said they had 11 or more sexual partners.

Men were also more likely to say they had sex within the first three dates (46%) compared to 21% of women.

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