LONDON, UK, December 9, 2003 ( – A new British Medical Association (BMA) report titled Adolescent Health reveals that one in ten teenage girls age 16 to 19 has chlamydia, a virulent sexually transmitted disease. This represents a 300 percent increase from 1996 rates. If left untreated, chlamydia results in infertility.

The report details “worrying” statistics about teenage health in England—spiritual, physical, and mental, and also reveals a four-fold increase in cocaine use for teenage women for the same period.  When asked about the cause of the alarming trend, Michele Elliott, director of the children’s charity Kidscape, offered her views. “We need better sex education and we need to have it from a younger age,” she says, “but we also need to be careful what we are exposing our children to. I don’t think we should be letting our children have magazines that tell a 12-year-old girl how to have oral sex with her boyfriend. We’ve got to tell our kids that it’s okay not to have sex.”  Dr Trevor Stammers, a senior tutor in general practice at St George’s Medical School in South London, reiterated the dilemma described by Elliott. “The significance of the lack of male role models for young people is now indisputable, whether you like the idea or not,” he says. “We also need to be teaching our kids that there’s nothing wrong with being a virgin at the age of 15 or 16.”  To read the BMA report, go to:

For The Telegraph Report, go to: