Participant Information Sheet: Information for young people, schools, and parents/carers about the survey

Welcome to the research study! The aim of this online survey is to help researchers better understand the sexual behaviours and experiences of young people aged 13 to 18 years old in the United Kingdom.

There is currently very little research about the sexual behaviours of young people in the UK. Knowing more about current trends can help us safeguard the health of young people and support their sexual wellbeing and development. One of the most important things we can do is listen to young people and use what they say to inform our work in this area.

This study is led by University of Birmingham researchers who will use the findings to develop an assessment tool which can be used by healthcare professionals and educators to improve the support and information given to young people. This study will provide a wealth of knowledge that professionals can draw on to better understand and support this group. Topics covered in this survey include:

  • Any sexual experiences young people may have had (including having oral, vaginal, or anal sex)
  • Their Sexting and pornography use
  • Contraception use and safer sex practices
  • Their Drugs and substance use

This study has been shaped and is guided by a group of young advisors to ensure the questions we ask are relevant and appropriate to those in this age group.

Please take your time to carefully read the information below or discuss it with a trusted adult such as a parent, carer, or teacher.

Participation in this survey is completely voluntary; you can stop taking part at any time for any reason. All responses will be treated as anonymous and confidential.

Who can take part?

Only young people who are 13 to 18 years old and who live in the United Kingdom can take part in this survey.

Who is carrying out the research?

The research team on this project includes Dr Sophie King-Hill and Dr Willem Stander who have many years’ experience working with young people. You are welcome to contact the research team directly, if you have any questions about this study or want to know about their previous work.

Dr Sophie King-Hill (Principal Investigator), email:

Dr Willem Stander (Research Fellow), email:  

Will anyone know I have taken part?

All of your responses will remain confidential and anonymous. This means that you won’t identified by your answers, and no one will know that it is you that has responded. We won’t collect any identifying information such as your name, date of birth or email address. Your responses, including some of your words, may be used in reports or other outputs from the project.

If you are worried about anyone knowing you are or have taken part, please complete the survey in a safe and private space and use a computer terminal or mobile device that is not viewed or used by other people.

What will we do with your information?

We will keep and story your answers (or data) for 10 years after the study has completed. This is in line with our University’s guidelines.

Your data will be stored and archived on the University’s password-protected platform which can only be accessed by the research team. After 10 years, your data will be deleted.

You can read more about we date we collect about you, how we use it and what you can do about it in our Privacy Notice for Young People and Privacy Notice for Trusted Adults. 

Is there a risk to taking part?

This study has been approved by the University of Birmingham’s ethics committee.

Young people may experience some emotional discomfort answering some survey questions. We have tried to keep these at a minimum and have drawn our survey questions from a range of national and international studies about similar topics. That means that these survey questions have been tried and tested with this age group over time.

Our young advisors’ group have also helped shape and review the survey questions to ensure they are relevant and appropriate to this age group.

If young people experience any emotional discomfort or upset taking part, please contact one of the national helplines listed below. 

Emotional support and mental health

Sexual abuse/violence helplines

Online sexual health resources/services

Medical advice

  • NHS 111 by dialling 111 (England and Wales, all-age)
  • NHS 24 call 08454 242424 (Scotland, all-age)

Is there a benefit to taking part?

There are no payments for research participation in this study. However, your views and perspectives will help inform an assessment tool to support young people and professionals working with young people.

One of the most important things we can do can do is to listen to young people and use what they say to inform our work in this area.

What do I do if I’m not happy about something to do with the research or want to make a complaint?

If you have a complaint about the research, you can contact the research team directly. You can also contact the University’s ethics manager, Mrs Sue Cottam (Ethics Manager, School of Social Policy), at:

Thank you

 Thank you for taking the time to read more about this study and for considering to take part.