Doctors are pointing to an increase in abortions and sexually-transmitted diseases among young Greek women who, they say, are relatively ignorant about gynecological issues, with sex education still not a priority at Greek schools.
Although there is a dearth of reliable official statistics, a quarter of around 60,000 abortions carried out in Greece every year are done by girls under the age of 16, experts say.
Panagiotis Christopoulos, a gynecologist who specializes in adolescent issues, says a lack of education and information is a large part of the problem. “There is a complete ignorance about matters of sexual health, contraception and protection from STDs,” he said, adding that around half of young women do not use a condom, even with a new partner.
Christopoulos has approached schools to propose voluntarily conducting sex education classes but has faced red tape and opposition, chiefly from the parents of schoolchildren, he says.