Campaigning organisation Marie Stopes International has called for schools to provide clearer information about contraception, after a survey showed more young people aged under 24 were failing to use contraception with new partners.
British respondents were among the least aware in western Europe about contraception. Sex and relationships education was key to reducing high- risk sexual activities, said Tracey McNeill, the UK and Europe vice- president of Marie Stopes.
In the UK, 25.5 births per 1,000 are to teenage mothers - the highest in Europe and, the organisation highlighted, five times higher than in the Netherlands, where sex and relationships education is taught to children from a young age.
The research was part of a worldwide online survey of 5,223 people, funded by World Contraception Day sponsor Bayer Healthcare. A total of 206 British people responded.