Sex at 14 - I learned all about it in class

By Elizabeth Binning

Amber-Leigh Erasmus is about to have her first child at 17 after having unprotected sex at New Year. Photo / Paul Estcourt
Amber-Leigh Erasmus is about to have her first child at 17 after having unprotected sex at New Year. Photo / Paul Estcourt

A pregnant teenager says sex education in schools does not prevent young people from having sex - if anything, it encourages it.

Amber-Leigh Erasmus is due to give birth to her first child on Saturday, a result of having unprotected sex during New Year celebrations.

The Hibiscus Coast 17-year-old lost her virginity at 14, a year after she was taught about sex at school and the fact it was "okay as long as you consented".

Amber-Leigh said she was brought up with the idea that you should wait until marriage before having sex.

But the things she learned at school made sex seem like a perfectly normal thing to do, so she tried it, using the free flavoured condoms she had been given in class.

"It accustomed me to absolutely everything and it became a normality to me."

Now she is questioning why students are being taught about sex when they are so young, especially given sex isn't legal until the age of 16.

"When my mother signed the consent, she thought it was signing her way to her child knowing about reproduction and the actual human anatomy side of reproduction, not the methods on how it's done.

"I learned [at the age of 13] that sex was okay as long as you consented to it. I learned how to put on condoms, and we even got to 'taste test' the flavours of oral condoms."

She said her class was also taught that anal sex was "perfectly fine" as long as condoms were used, that the morning-after pill wasn't always effective, and it was "okay" to abort.

While she acknowledges some 12- and 13-year-olds are having sex, Amber-Leigh said that's only because they think they are "cool", but most children aren't mature enough at that age to take in the seriousness of what they are learning.

She said teaching young teenagers about contraception won't help reduce New Zealand's high rate of teenage pregnancy rates.

"I didn't wind up pregnant because I didn't attend a class. I know all about contraceptives and safe sex. It was purely the fact that I was drunk, it was New Year's, and some older male thought it would be fabulous to take advantage of me.

"I believed upon the facts and myths of someone older than me claiming the withdrawal method worked. I was not mature enough to comprehend and make the right decisions for myself."

Amber-Leigh has spoken out in the hope it may help other young teenagers to learn about the importance of having protected sex - or preferably waiting until they are older.

- NZ Herald

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