Sexual and contraceptive behavior among female university students in Sweden - repeated surveys over a 25-year period (2015)

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COMMENTS: 70% of females use pornography, and 48% said it affected their sexual behavior.


Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2015 Jan 25. doi: 10.1111/aogs.12565.

Stenhammar C1, Ehrsson YT, Åkerud H, Larsson M, Tydén T.

OBJECTIVE:

To study female students' sexual and contraceptive behavior and compare these results with earlier surveys.

DESIGN:

Comparative, repeated cross-sectional surveys, started in 1989 and repeated every fifth year.

SETTING:

Contraceptive counseling delivered at a Student Health Center in Sweden.

POPULATION:

Female university students (n = 359).

METHODS:

Multiple-choice waiting-room questionnaire.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Sexual and contraceptive behavior.

RESULTS:

In 1989, age at first intercourse was 17.6 years vs. 16.7 years in 2014, number of lifetime sexual partners was 4.0 vs. 12.1 in 2014, and number of sexual partners during the previous 12 months was 1.0 vs. 2.8 in 2014. Condom use during first intercourse with the latest partner decreased from 49% to 41% (n = 172 in 2009 vs. n = 148 in 2014: p < 0.001), and experience of anal sex increased from 39% to 46% (n = 136 in 2009 vs. n = 165 in 2014: p = 0.038), and 25% (n = 41 in 2014) always used a condom during anal sex. A total of 70% (n = 251) made use of pornography, and 48% (n = 121) considered their sexual behavior affected by pornography. Eighty-nine percent (n = 291) wanted two to three children and 9% (n = 33) had thought about freezing eggs for the future. The female students' knowledge about increasing age being correlated with decreased fertility varied.

CONCLUSIONS:

Sexual behavior among female university students has gradually changed during the last 25 years and behavior appears more risky today. As this may have consequences on future reproductive health, it is vital to inform women about consistent and correct condom use and about the limitations of the fertile window.

© 2015 The Authors. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology (NFOG).

KEYWORDS:

Contraception; female; sexual behavior; sexually transmitted diseases; sexually transmitted infection; unsafe sex