Laying bare the myths of safe sex
More than one in 10 people (11 per cent) do not realise a woman can get pregnant if she has sex standing up, according to a poll out today.
The Department of Health and the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) commissioned the survey to highlight misconceptions around safe sex.
It found 19 per cent were unaware a woman can get pregnant while she is on her period and the same number were unaware she can get pregnant if the man withdraws before ejaculation.
The survey of 2,000 people aged 16 to 50 found 26 per cent never discuss contraception and almost one in three (31 per cent) never talk about sexual health - such as sexually-transmitted infections - with their partner.
A total of 17 per cent are unaware that some infections, such as herpes and genital warts, cannot be cleared up with antibiotics.
Around one in five (21 per cent) people say they chat about sex without actually saying what is on their mind and 62 per cent turn the discussion into a joke.
More than a quarter (27 per cent) admit to being too embarrassed to ask the questions they would really like to while 25 per cent wish they could talk more openly about sex and relationships.
Nevertheless, 77 per cent of people said they would give a friend advice on a sexual health dilemma even if they were unsure of their facts.
Almost half (47 per cent) of people said they never discuss their sex lives with their friends and 37 per cent never talk about contraception.
Sex and relationships expert, Dr Pam Spurr, said: "In spite of our love of talking about sex and relationships, the survey suggests it's our lack of knowledge that is causing confusion.
"I'm encouraged to see that we've overcome a long-held aversion to talking about sex, but we've still got some way to go before we swap jokes and banter for the open, honest and informed conversations about sexual health and relationships that most of us would like."
Lisa Power, head of policy at the Terrence Higgins Trust, said: "We're delighted that the Government has acknowledged the importance of both better education and peer influence in the way people make decisions about their sexual health.
"Ignorance is just as transmissible as chlamydia or HIV and we need to take firm steps to prevent all of those things from spreading."
Life & Style blogs
Alexander McQueen at auction: What makes a really great piece of fashion?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship
Stressed nurses are 'forced to choose between health of patients and their own'
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's Frozen...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting position has risen ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Internal Sales Executive ...
£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises in the installa...