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Sexual health and identity

Presenting data on young people’s sexual behaviour and how they identify. Sections include what age young people start to have sexual relationships; contraception use; conception and birth rates for young parents; and sexually transmitted diseases.

In England, Wales and Scotland the under 18 conception rate has continued to fall since the 1990s


Balding A and Regis D (2020) Young people into 2020. Exeter: Schools Health Education Unit

Brooks et al (2020) Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC): World Health Organization Collaborative Cross National Study Findings from the 2018 HBSC study for England http://hbscengland.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/HBSC-England-National-Report-2020.pdf

Geary R S, Tomes C, Jones K G, Glasier A, Macdowall W, Datta J, Sonnenberg P, Wellings K, French R S, Mercer C H, and Johnson A M (2016) ‘Actual and preferred contraceptive sources among young people: findings from the British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles’, BMJ Open. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011966.

GIDS (2021) Gender Identity Development Service Referrals to GIDS, financial years 2010-11 to 2020-21 https://gids.nhs.uk/number-referrals

Health Protection Scotland (2019) Surveillance report: Genital chlamydia and gonorrhoea infection in Scotland: laboratory diagnoses 2009-2018. Edinburgh: Scottish Government. https://hpspubsrepo.blob.core.windows.net/hps-website/nss/2791/documents/1_genital-chlamydia-gonorrhoea-scotland-2009-2018.pdf

Inchley et al (2020) Findings from the HBSC 2018 survey in Scotland: Health Behaviour in School-aged-Children: World Health Organisation collaborative cross-national study https://www.gla.ac.uk/media/Media_707475_smxx.pdf

Kelly et al. (2019) Partnered Intimate Activities in Early Adolescence Findings https://www.jahonline.org/action/showPdf?pii=S1054-139X%2819%2930249-6

Macdowall W, Gibson L, Tanton C, Mercer C et al (2013) ‘Lifetime prevalence, associated factors, and circumstances of non-volitional sex in women and men in Britain: Findings from the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3)’, The Lancet. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62300-4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24286789/

Mercer C, Tanton C, Prah P et al (2013) ‘Changes in sexual attitudes and lifestyles in Britain through the life course and over time: Findings from the National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal)’, The Lancet. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62035-8.

NHS Digital (2019) NHS Maternity Statistics 2018-19 https://files.digital.nhs.uk/D0/C26F84/hosp-epis-stat-mat-summary-report-2018-19.pdf

NHS Digital (2020) Sexual and Reproductive Health Services, England (Contraception) 2019/20 https://files.digital.nhs.uk/E0/BE7403/srh-serv-eng-19-20-tab.xlsx

NISRA (2020) Young Persons’ Behaviour and Attitude Survey 2019 https://www.nisra.gov.uk/publications/young-persons-behaviour-and-attitude-survey-2019

Office for National Statistics (2020) Conception statistics, England and Wales 2018. London: ONS. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/conceptionandfertilityrates/datasets/conceptionstatisticsenglandandwalesreferencetables.

Office for National Statistics (2021) Sexual Orientation UK: 2019 https://www.ons.gov.uk/file?uri=/peoplepopulationandcommunity/culturalidentity/sexuality/datasets/sexualidentityuk/2012to2019/sexualorientation2019final.xlsx

Page et al (2021) Student Health and Wellbeing in Wales: Report of the 2019/20 School Health Research Network Student Health and Wellbeing Survey https://www.shrn.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/SHRN-NR-FINAL-23_03_21-en.pdf

Public Health England (2019) Health of women before and during pregnancy: health behaviours, risk factors and inequalities: An updated analysis of the Maternity Services Dataset antenatal booking data. London: PHE https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/844210/Health_of_women_before_and_during_pregnancy_2019.pdf

Public Health England (2020a) Sexually transmitted infections (STIs): annual data tables. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/sexually-transmitted-infections-stis-annual-data-tables

Public Health England (2020b) Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination coverage in adolescent females and males in England: academic year 2019 to 2020. London: PHE https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/927694/hpr1920_HPV-vc.pdf

Public Health England (2020c) National HIV surveillance data tables: United Kingdom. London: PHE https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/939480/National_Tables_2020_v2.ods

Public Health Scotland (2020) Teenage Pregnancy Year of Conception Ending 31st December 2018 https://beta.isdscotland.org/media/5314/2020-08-25-teenpreg-report.pdf

Stonewall (2021) https://www.stonewall.org.uk/truth-about-trans


All data correct as of 1st November 2021