Growing up, I have had more than my fair share of insecurities, and it appears I am not alone. Girly nights in or out, catching up with the latest gossip, followed by a pick-me-up for one of the girls who may be feeling a little down and out. We’ve all been the shoulder to cry on or the one who is in need of a good sob! We don’t do it to receive sympathy or attention, but the majority of girls believe that certain parts of their body could 'look better' and want to look ‘perfect’. What is deemed perfect to the media and the public is different to each and every one of us. Once you reach a certain age and point in your life you begin to realise the ‘ugly’ is in fact beautiful.


However, many 16-24’s still worry about their image particularly when it comes to sex.

Voxburner, youth insights consultancy, who look into young people and their sexual behaviour and attitudes towards relationships, have revealed a worrying trend around negative body image and lack of self-confidence.

The research found that 49% of UK students worrying about what they look like during sex. Worryingly, 58% of women are more body conscious compared to just 24% of male respondents.

There needs to be more work done with young people around healthy relationships and body consciousness

As well as being distressed about body issues, they are adding fuel to the stress as 59% of young people worry about their own sexual performance.

Although 51% of UK students say they are currently in a relationship, 27% fear getting pregnant and 22% are concerned with contraception.

A further 38% have had at least one serious relationship by the time they get to university. A huge 59% of 16-24s believe they have already met their ‘life partner’ or expect to meet them whilst at university.

Nicci Talbot, Editor of Rude Magazine, comments: “I think the survey busts some stereotypes around student behaviour as being wild and promiscuous - it seems quite traditional and responsible in places. I get the gist of a greater need for conversation around sexual issues in school. Basic biology isn’t enough and there’s a pressure to ‘know what you’re doing’ by the time you get to uni!”

Rianna Raymond-Williams, Founder and Managing Editor of Shine ALOUD UK, adds: “There needs to be more work done with young people around healthy relationships and body consciousness which uncover values in a relationship, expectations of partners, self-confidence, trust and communication - all of which are vital elements of sexuality.”

She adds: “The difference between this generation and those before has to be the easy access to technology and the social, cyber or digital networking world. This can work in the favour of young people as they can log on and find out relevant information about everything and anything, join forums where they can learn and share with other young people as well as become a part of different groups. But at the same time this can also be damaging, as young people are often exposed to things that aren’t real within the realms of fantasy such as porn.”

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