Content type
Commissioned report

November 2019


Diana Warren, Neha Swami

Commissioning Body

Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children

Download Commissioned report


This report provides a snapshot of insights into the sexual experiences and behaviours of teenagers aged 14–17 years. It covers sexual attraction and relationships, sexual intercourse, contraception choices, pornography viewing, and unwanted sexual behaviours.

Key messages

  • By 16–17, around two thirds of teenagers had had a romantic relationship and around one third had had sexual intercourse.

  • Around one in five 16–17 year-olds who were sexually active said that they had done nothing to prevent sexually transmitted infections, and around one in 12 said that they had done nothing to prevent pregnancy the last time they had sex.

  • Condoms were the most common method (around 75% of the time) to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

  • Boys were much more likely than girls to have intentionally viewed pornography.

  • Almost half of girls and one third of boys aged 16–17 years said that they had experienced some form of unwanted sexual behaviour towards them in the past 12 months.

  • One in eight boys and around one in 12 girls reported that they had engaged in unwanted sexual behaviour towards someone else in the past 12 months.