Teenagers and young adults in the UK are still not getting the message when it comes to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), a new study has revealed.
The research carried out by condom maker Durex asked a group of 15 to 20-year-olds from across Europe a series of questions in a bid to find out their attitudes and practices regarding sexual health.
The They Won't Know Unless We Tell Them report uncovered a high degree of ignorance of STIs across the UK and the rest of the continent.
In the UK, more than a quarter of young people (25.1%) wrongly believe that STIs can be transmitted through kissing, whilst 24.5% thought they could catch an STI from a toilet seat, the study found.
Many of the respondents were also worryingly relaxed about their sexual health, with almost eight out of 10 young Britons (79.8%) believing they are at little or no risk of contracting STIs.
The report is the fifth in the Durex Network's Face of Global Sex research series, which aims to promote debate around sexual health issues and provide pointers for future research and policy development.
The study involved more than 15,000 young people in nine countries in Western Europe - Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK - and six in Eastern Europe - Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Turkey.
It explored their experience of sex education and its impact on their sexual health in terms of knowledge, attitudes and practices.
Durex Network vice president Peter Roach said: "By raising these issues we hope that this report proves useful in helping to inform educationalists and policy makers in the creation of sex and relationships education initiatives in the future."
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