The survey was conducted on almost 450 people between the ages of 16 and 29. Hellard says that the study suggested that Aussies have a mean number of 5.5 sexual partners each over of their lifetimes, higher than what was found in similar other studies. The researcher said that the participants believed that their peers had had a mean of 6.6 sexual partners each. "What it all comes down to is we don't have clear conversations with young people (about sex)," Hellard said. "That's why many young people spend their time thinking something else is happening out there than what is actually happening," she added.
Hellard further said that it was important that young Australians be told it was okay to hold off starting to have sex, or to go without for a time, and that it was 'not always the case' their peers had multiple sexual partners. The study's findings have been reported in the journal Sexual Health.