More than half of young Croatians obtain information on sex education on the Internet, shows a survey prompted by heated discussions in Croatia about plans for the introduction of sex education in school curricula.
The purpose of the survey, which was conducted by the EduCentar portal and covered more than 560 respondents, was to establish where children and adolescents in Croatia most frequently look for information regarding sex education.
The survey shows that as many as 55% of the respondents look for relevant information on sex education on the web.
"Disappointing but true. In small places one is ashamed of inquiring about birth control because it means that you are going to have sex before marriage, so you google it up and then share the information with your equally uninformed friends," a respondent said, while others said that the Internet is "the easiest choice if you do not trust a person."
Apart from the Internet, the respondents also cited teen magazines as a logical choice "after teachers refused to answer their questions about sexuality."
A respondent complained about incomplete and incorrect information from different sources.
"Very often information obtained from others, including professionals, was incomplete. Very important information was missing. On the Internet I was able to find arguments, facts and studies to support the information. Information obtained from professionals was often limited and unsubstantiated, they expected it simply to be accepted."
Peers are a source of information on sex education for 15% of the respondents, while 10% seek advice from their parents. They believe that is a matter to be dealt with by parents, not teachers.
A part of the respondents said they obtained information on sex education in their biology classes. The 13% of the respondents that listened about sex education in biology classes said their experience was positive and commended their teachers.
Only 7% of the respondents attended school lectures dedicated exclusively to this topic, but they say that it was a part of a project and that it was not useful to them. Only several respondents had extra-curricular education during which they could ask questions related to sex education.
"I'm definitely in favour of sex education but not in the form it is currently being proposed in. It should be adapted to pupils' age and understanding and they should be gradually introduced to that topic. Any pushing or imposing is not a good way to teach about such an important topic," said one of the respondents.