1 in 4 girls have sex before they are 16
A quarter of young girls have sex before the age of 16, according to a British survey.
The annual Health Survey for England 2010 has revealed girls are indulging in sex at far younger age than boys.
The trend triggered claims about the "pornification" of British culture.
The survey found more than one in four women (27 percent) aged 16 to 24 admitted that they'd had sex before the age of 16 - the legal age for consent - compared with just over one in five men (22 percent).
The proportion of women who say they had under-age sex has increased over the generations but the trend is "less clear" in men, the report stated.
One in 10 men and women aged 16 to 24 said they had had 10 or more sexual partners.
"The underlying cause must be the 'pornification' of British culture and the increasing sexualisation of pre-adolescent girls," the Independent quoted Diane Abbott, Labour's shadow Health Minister as saying.
"Too many young girls are absorbing from popular culture that they only have value as sex objects," he added.
The authors have, however, warned that surveys of sexual behaviour are hard to interpret as responses are subject to exaggeration and concealment.