Most young people learn about sex from television, the internet or their friends, a survey has found.
Only 1 per cent get lessons on the facts of life from their father and 5 per cent from their mother. Just 13 per cent get most of their information during sex education lessons at school. A staggering 81 per cent find out about it from outside sources. Five per cent rely on internet porn for their knowledge.
The survey, by Brook, the sexual health charity, questioned young people of secondary school age about where they had learnt the facts of life.
It said the reliance on outside sources had led to a series of myths developing among young people – including 33 per cent saying women could not get pregnant if it was the first time they had had sex and 25 per cent believing you could only catch HIV from gay men.
Julien Hillier, deputy chief executive of Brook, said: "Standards vary so widely that all too often young people miss out on the information they need to stay safe, healthy and happy."