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One in four youths "has unprotected sex"

The government has been called upon to make sex education in schools a higher priority after a survey revealed that one in four sexually active young people in the UK has had unprotected sex with a new partner.

It was also revealed that hygiene is rated as a higher priority than contraception when preparing for a date.

The findings are part of a worldwide survey conducted by Marie Stopes International for World Contraception Day on 26 September.

Out of the UK participants, 16% who admitted to unprotected sex said they did not use contraception with a new partner because they forgot, 13% said their partner preferred not to use it and 19% said they had been drunk and forgot.

Almost half the respondents said they were confused about the different types of contraception available.

Tracey McNeill, vice-president of UK and Europe at Marie Stopes International, said: "We are calling on the coalition government to put sex and relationships education back on the agenda and ensure that all schools, including faith schools, teach a standardised curriculum to all 15-year-olds."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

World Contraception Day