Roughly 80% Of Maltese Adolescents Learn About Sexuality Online


Most young Maltese people – aged between 18 and 20 – turn to the Internet when they want to learn about sexuality.



This was found in a study conducted by Jessica Mercieca, who has just graduated in Psychology and analysed the knowledge, attitudes, and sexual behaviour among a sample of 418 students.


person using laptop computer


Almost 81% of them said that the Internet is their main source of sex education, with almost 36% replying that they are not aware of the free services to test for STDs and which provide treatment.



Other findings show that 33% of students wish to learn more about these issues from their own mothers. Sexologist Matthew Bartolo remarked that the fact young people are turning to the Internet to learn more about these issues is a lost opportunity for parents to teach important values to their children.


white pillows and bed comforter


For me to speak about sexuality doesn’t mean sitting down and having “the talk” which we used to think about in the past. We should be teaching them from the time we teach them to brush their teeth. When you teach a child to brush their teeth you are teaching her to take care of her body, that is also part of hygiene and hygiene is a part of sexuality.’



‘I believe that we need to start from talking about the body right away, how to care for it, and respect others when they say no. This is all part of sex and relationship education’, Bartolo explained.


three men and laughing two women walking side by side


Over half of the students engaged in their first sexual activity between the ages of 15 and 17, with 11% saying that their first sexual activity was when they were younger than 15. Those who were sexually active after the age of 20 amount to less than 6%.



Turning to contraceptives, 68% say they refuse to have sex if their partner does not use contraceptives.