Bliss defends '3 partners by 14' sex survey after protests

By Alyson Fixter

Teen magazine Bliss has been criticised for publishing the results
of a survey in which more than a fifth of readers claimed to have had
three sexual partners by the age of 14.

The survey, which appears in this month’s edition of the Emap title, was widely followed up across the national media.

according to the Family Planning Association and Family and Youth
Concern, it was not properly weighted to give a representative sample
of teenage girls.

Editor Lisa Smosarski said teen titles were the only ones asking young people the right questions about their lives.

leading authority on British sexual activity, the National Survey on
Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles, for example, does not produce data on

Smosarski said: “We just wanted to understand our
readers better. It was very important for us in terms of dictating what
direction we were going to go in. It’s very hard to get data on
teenagers, and we are the only ones asking the questions of this age

We had 2,000 girls spread across the UK, which we thought was a pretty representative sample.

survey done online and through a magazine is very reliable. The people
in this age group wouldn’t be telling us the truth if we were stopping
them in the street, but this way there is anonymity and there’s no one
to impress.

“There’s such a lack of info out there, and our
readers do feel alone. We want to reassure them that people do care and
they are able to help.”

The survey, which was filled in by 2,000
girls, with an average age of 14 and a half, through the internet and
questionnaires in the magazine, indicated that two thirds were having
unprotected sex and that half had had a onenight stand.But it also
revealed that 94 per cent wanted to get married by the age of 25 and 89
per cent wanted to be married before having children.

said that since the survey was published, the magazine had been
approached by Kirklees Council in West Yorkshire to do follow-up
research on what information teenagers wanted and in what format.

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