Promiscuous Britain: One in 4 young women admit they had sex below the age of 16 - more than twice as many as their mothers
More than a quarter of young women today lost their virginity when they were below the legal age of consent, NHS figures reveal.
Some 27 per cent of 16 to 24 year-olds admit they were 15 or under when they had sex for the first time.
One in eight of this age group have already had sex with at least ten different partners.
MPs and campaigners yesterday blamed the ‘pornification of society’ for encouraging young girls to dress themselves up as sex objects before they have even reached puberty.
The figures detail for the first time how young girls are increasingly losing their virginity before they reach 16.
They reveal how by comparison, just 4 per cent of women now aged 55 to 64 first had sex when they were under-age. This rises to 10 per cent of 45 to 54 year-olds, and 14 per cent of 35 to 44 year-olds.
Critics say the rise in promiscuity over the generations is linked to increased sex education in schools that has ‘broken down the natural inhibitions of children with regard to sexual conduct’.
The figures also show that more than a fifth of sexually active women aged 16 to 24 have taken the morning-after pill at least once in the past year. Almost 60 per cent admitted they did not always use contraception.
By comparison 22 per cent of men aged 16 to 24 lost their virginity when they were 15 or under. Some 41 per cent said they used a condom every time, although only 5.4 per cent said they had caught a sexually transmitted infection.