Girls told to say no to sex

PUBLISHED: 12:41 10 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:42 24 May 2010

TROUBLED teenagers under pressure to have sex are to be taught how to fend off unwanted advances. Youngsters, particularly girls, are to undergo special training from youth workers about how to be more assertive if they are being pressured for sex. They w

TROUBLED teenagers under pressure to have sex are to be taught how to fend off unwanted advances.Youngsters, particularly girls, are to undergo special training from youth workers about how to be more assertive if they are being pressured for sex.They will also get coaching to boost their self esteem and negotiation skills in a bid to help them deal with difficult and emotional situations.Youth workers in Wedmore and Axbridge and medical staff in Cheddar will be among scores of staff in the county to be offered the training.Teenagers can already pick up pocket sized Delay Cards which have a checklist of sex health tips and issues to raise with their partners and mentors.NHS health promotion manager Karen Butt said: "We have increased services and information for young people, but they are still putting themselves at risk from unplanned pregnancies."What is needed to affect behaviour is work around self esteem, negotiation, assertiveness and encouraging aspirations for things other than just having a boyfriend."Youth workers already work on these issues, but early Delay sex training will be specifically aimed at the field of sexual health."The sex defence training and Delay Cards are add-ons to the multi-agency launched Somerset Condom Card scheme, which allows youngsters to pick up free condoms.Figures following the scheme's launch in April until May, revealed by the Somerset Mercury, show that 753 Somerset youngsters have signed up to the card, 63 per cent of whom are aged 16-17. Figures for the Cheddar area are not available yet.Somerset County Council boys and young men's development worker, Mark Withers, said: "People have said the Condom Card has been like handing out sweets without any information to go with them."The Delay Card and assertiveness training is to counteract that. People think sex health is just giving people contraception, but we focus on the complete package of self-esteem and self-worth. "It is similar to work in Holland, which has the lowest sex infection and teenage pregnancy rates in the world.


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