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New sex survey planned

Researchers are about to put Norwegian sex habits under the magnifying glass again. The latest study will also attempt to widen knowledge by better mapping self-image and homosexuality.

Norwegians top list over 'one-night stands' - 26.11.02

This year's survey - the Norwegian Institute of Public Health examines Norwegian sex life every five years - will include a question on what people feel their sexual orientation is, and if they have ever had sex with a member of the same gender.

Researchers believe that the current number given by homosexual organizations - 5 percent homosexual population - is too high.

Besides these new questions, the survey as a whole wants to know more than how, who, and how often.

"This is the first time that we try to discover the connection between self-image and sexual behavior in such a large survey in Norway," said Bente Traeen, head of the sexual habits investigation for the NIPH.

"It is important to determine such connections if we are to hinder unwanted pregnancy, transmission of HIV and venereal disease in segments of the population," Traeen said.

The researchers believe that self-image and condom use are connected, with self-assured people more likely to insist on their use. The overconfident won't see any need to use condoms, they predict.

Norwegians recently topped a survey of 22 countries around the world for number of one-night stands. A new European study fills in the picture even more, with Norwegians most likely to be drunk en route to their one-night stand. By contrast, no Italians felt the need to tank up before first-time sex with a partner.

"In Italy and other Mediterranean countries alcohol is a daily phenomenon, but it is not socially acceptable to be drunk. Norwegian teens on the other hand, associate drinking and being drunk with becoming an adult," Traeen said.

A correlation between alcohol consumption and condom use was found in three countries - Germany, Italy and Norway. Again, the results were quite different. In Italy, some drinking before sex led to increased condom use, farther north, in Germany and Norway, boozing it up meant condoms were forgotten.

Traeen said that it was not necessarily the alcohol causing the forgetfulness, but rather drinking was often used as an excuse for loss of self-control for those who had no intention of using condoms anyway.

Aftenposten's Norwegian reporter
Lene Skogstrøm
Aftenposten English Web Desk
Jonathan Tisdall

Monday 20 January 2003