A Pacific academic says barriers need to be broken down when talking about sexual health with Pacific youth.
Dr Analosa Veukiso-Ulugia recently published her thesis on the sexual health knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of Samoan youth in New Zealand.
She says although sex is considered a taboo subject, it needs to be discussed among Samoan families, otherwise youth will learn about sex from the media and social media.
"Parents should be encouraging them to wait until they're older, until you're married and settled," says Dr Veukiso-Ulugia. "These are quite admirable expectations and desires."
"When we think about all the different messages they're receiving in regards to relationships and sexual development, it's quite complicated. They're trying to navigate their way through a turbulent time."
Dr Analosa Veukiso-Ulugia's thesis was based on research from the Youth 2000 National Health and Well-being survey undertaken in 2007, combined with focus groups of Samoan youth and key experts working in the field.
Dr Analosa Veukiso-Ulugia's says young Pacific people are getting mixed messages about sex. Photo/ Supplied.