Young people: sex, drugs and disco

Most young Dutch people are happy with the way they are raised by their parents. But how about their behaviour? Do they have - safe - sex? Do they take drugs, and how about night life?

Sex and the pill

The average age at which young people have sex with a partner for the first time is 17. Over 80 percent claims to have used some form of contraception the first time.

Many young women take the pill as their form of contraception. In 2001 some 74 percent of women aged between 18 and 24 took the pill. This is 55 percent among girls aged 16 and 17. Three quarters of everyone between 12 and 24 feels they have safe sex.

Drug use, 2001


One in four young people took marihuana or hashish at some point. About 8 percent used took XTC and 6 percent expanded their minds at some point with mushrooms. There is hardly any mention of heroin use.

More young men than women claim to have used drugs at some point. Over 30 percent of the men used marihuana or hashish versus 18 percent of the women. XTC and mind-expanding mushrooms were used by 5 and 9 percent respectively of the men and 6 and 3 percent respectively of the women.

Discos and bars

Seven in ten young people go to the disco at least four times a year. Over half go once every month. Girls under 18 go to discos more often than boys under 18; 55 percent of the girls go dancing once a month versus 42 percent of the boys. Both sexes are about equally interested in the disco once they are over 18.

Night life, 2001

Many young people regularly go to bars. About two thirds of all young people can be found in bars at least once a month; one third comes there at least once a week. Bars are particularly popular among young men over 18. Half of them hit the bars at least once a week, and three in ten go there between one and three times a month.

Anita Botterweck