Conducted by the McCreary Centre Society every 5 years since 1992, over 168,000 students in Grades 7–12 have completed the AHS. In 2018, 58 of the 60 BC school districts participated and the survey was completed by 38,015 Grade 7-12 students. To see the full report on the 2108 AHS go to https://www.mcs.bc.ca/about_bcahs. In the meantime, here are some highlights related directly to sexual health (emojis are all mine 😍):

Vaginal Sex:
•    20% of all high school youth report engaging in (no change from 2013 but down 2% from 2008) 😎
•    No gender differences
•    68% of sexually active youth waited until age 15
•    52% of sexually active youth only had one partner (21% report 3 or more partners)
•    63% used condom or other protection last time had sex (decrease for both M and F) 😩

Oral Sex:
•    10% of 14 year olds reported engaging in
•    20% of 15 year olds reported engaging in
•    33% of 16 year olds reported engaging in
•    50% of 18 year olds reported engaging in
•    Decreased over the past decade from 26% in 2008 to 22% in 2018 😎
•    Females more likely to give, males more likely to receive 😩
•    Percentage who used protection the last time was unchanged from 2013

Note: Higher rates of both oral and vaginal sex in the North, Interior and Vancouver Island than in Vancouver and Fraser Valley

Contraception (general use):
•    58% used condoms (decreased since 2013) 😩
•    46% used withdrawl (increased from 36% in 2013) 😩
•    44% used prescribed method
•    7% used emergency contraception
•    3 % used IUD (increased since 2013)😎
•    2% used no method

STIs, Pregnancy and Substance Use:
•    1% reported having ever had an STI
•    1% involved in pregnancy (slight decrease from 2013) 😎
•    22% reported having sex after using substances 😩
•    6% reported that a consequence of their most recent substance use was that they had sex 😩

HPV vaccine:
•    28% reported having received
•    24% of all Grade 7s
•    But 57% did not know 😳
•    So actual uptake much higher than reported 😎

Sexting and Pornography:
•    12% reported had used their phone to watch porn on most recent school day 😩
•    5% reported using phone on last school day for sexting (decreased by 50% since 2013!) 😎
•    Females least likely to engage in both
•    Both activities increase with age

Refusal Skills:
•    92% reported could say no to sex with a new partner 😎
•    86% reported could say no to sex with a long-term partner 😎
•    92% reported they could say no to sexting  😎
•    Rates decreased with age (related to real-life experience?)

Dating Violence:
•    43% reported dating in the past year (increased since 2013)
•    7% males and females reported experienced 😩
•    14% non-binary youth reported experienced, so LGBTQ2s almost twice as likely to have experienced dating violence 😩

Sexual Abuse:
•    17% females report experiencing sexual abuse😩
•    5% of males report experiencing sexual abuse 😩
•    Both increased since 2013 😩

What youth want to learn more about when it comes to sexual health:
•    What do you do the first time you have sex? 😎
•    Why haven’t we had sex ed yet?  😎
•    Is it safe to masturbate a lot?😎
•    More info about safe sex😎
•    Healthy relationships 😎
•    How to overcome a porn addiction? 😎

And I know this isn’t directly related to sexual health but couldn’t help but include this interesting tidbit…

Sleep: (What are youth doing when their parents think they are in bed?)

•    72% on social media 😳
•    49% doing homework 😳
•    Only 1 in 4 went offline when went to bed 😳
•    Only 48% woke up feeling rested 😩

I know some of these results are disheartening, but by my count there are more 😎s than 😫s. Let’s hold on to that!

McCreary Centre Society is a non-government not-for-profit committed to improving the health of BC youth through research, evaluation and community based projects. Their vision is that all youth are supported to be healthy and connected. Their mission is to foster all aspects of youth health and positive development based on the strength of their research, evaluation, and engagement with youth and communities in the most culturally competent way possible. McCreary is committed to honouring the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. For more information about McCreary go to www.mcs.bc.ca.