How does alcohol influence sexual behaviour?
Parents and Carers are often unaware of the role that alcohol can play on young people’s risky sexual behaviour. Alcohol is the main reason given by many young people for having sex, especially early sex or sex with someone they had not known very long.
Whilst under the influence of alcohol young people are:
· More likely to engage in sexual activity at an earlier age
· More likely to have risky sex
· More at risk of teenage pregnancy
Alcohol consumption can result in lowered inhibitions and poor judgements regarding sexual activity and it increases the risk of sexual aggression and sexual violence. Being drunk often leads to young people having sex that is regretted.
Children as young as seven are aware of alcohol and its effects, so it is vital that Parents and Carers inform and educate their children and young people from an early age.
Parents and Carers have the biggest influence on children’s and young people’s attitudes and behaviour towards alcohol.
Talk to your child or young person about peer pressure – reassure them that not everyone their age is drinking.
Young people who drink often have low self esteem and lack self confidence – encourage your child or young person, reassure them and praise them for the good they do.
Provide a warm, supportive relationship for them – make them feel if they want to talk to you they can.
Provide positive attitudes to overall health, including sexual health.
Some young people use alcohol and other drugs to overcome nervousness, embarrassment and vulnerability relating to sex and sexual activity – teach them alcohol does not solve these issues but rather adds to them, tell them how thought through, better informed choices can lead to more positive outcomes.
Be a positive role model – drink sensibly and don’t get drunk in front of your child or young person.
Access the following websites for further information and advice: