Condom use falls but Dutch teens less sexually active; Sexting more common

Dutch young people become sexually active at a later age than five years ago. In 2012 half of Dutch youths had sex by the time they were 17.1 years old, compared to 18.6 years in 2017, according to a major study titled Sex before your 25th. But while teens are waiting longer before becoming physically sexually active, the number of young people participating in sexting doubled, reports.

The researchers do not have a clear explanation for why Dutch teens are waiting longer before they start having sex. About half of the young people who aren't sexually active said it is because they feel too young. Busy lives with schools and obligations, and distractions offered by social media, also play a role. 

The study revealed some worrying trends. One such is a significant increase in sexting among teens. This year 12 percent of girls and 13 percent of boys said they sent a nude photo or video to someone else in the past six months - in 2012 it was 4 and 6 percent. 

Another worrying finding is that more than 40 percent of young people don't use a condom during a one-night-stand. For their first time, 70 percent use a condom, but after that the use declines sharply. The main reasons for not using a condom are the use of other contraceptives, trust in your partner, and condoms making sex less enjoyable.

After sex without a condom, three quarters of boys and two thirds of girls say they weren't tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

There were also some positive developments. For example, the number of young people forces to do something sexual against their will decreased. Young people are also more accepting of homosexuality. Five years ago half of boys and a quarter of girls were against two boys kissing in public. This year that percentage almost halved to 27 percent of boys and 13 percent of girls.

The study was done among over 20 thousand young people by sexuality center Rutgers and Soa Aids Nederland in cooperation with the municipal health services. This is the third such study, previous ones were done in 2012 and 2005.