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FSD1242 Finnish Sex Survey 1971

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Authors

  • Koskelainen, Osmo (Academy of Finland. Research Council for the Social Sciences)
  • Leppo, Kimmo (Academy of Finland. Medical Research Council)
  • Sievers, Kai (University of Turku. Department of Hygiene and Social Medicine)

Keywords

attitudes, courtship, dating, health, interpersonal relations, living conditions, love, moral values, sexual behaviour, sexual health, sexual identity, sexual partnerships, sexuality

Abstract

This is the first national, representative survey on Finnish sexual life, sexual habits and sexual behaviour. At first, respondents were asked to indicate to what extent they agreed with attitudinal statements relating to sexual freedom, sex without love, women's right to take the sexual initiative, homosexual relationships, polygamy of men and monogamy of women, casual affairs, viewing pornography, sexual behaviour of young people and whether it is worthwhile to have children.

Respondents' health was charted by asking whether they had suffered from certain symptoms (e.g. headache) or illnesses (e.g. angina pectoris, cancer) during the past year. Smoking and drinking habits were surveyed. Women were asked about pregnancies, number of births (live or stillborn), miscarriages and abortions, and how many live children they had. They were also asked whether they had been pregnant at the time of their wedding and whether this was the reason for getting married.

Sex education received was surveyed. Other questions examined the number of persons respondents had been in love with, did they fall in love easily, about disappointments in love and whether they loved and were loved by someone. Respondents were asked at what age they had experienced their first kiss, first steady relationship, first intercourse. Several questions pertained to the first-ever intercourse: where it happened, use of contraception, had the respondent wanted it, what was it like and did she/he regret it later and did she/he marry the first partner.

Married respondents evaluated the happiness of their marriage and how important sex was to happiness. They were asked whether it was easy to discuss sex with their spouse. Questions covered how much sex respondents would like to have, how satisfactory sex was, how often they had sex, when was the last time and whether they had used contraception. The most recent intercourse was studied in detail: with whom, was alcohol consumed, who made the initiative, pleasantness of the experience, position used. Sexual foreplay habits were also charted.

Female respondents were asked about reaching orgasm, fear of pregnancy, impotence of the partner and impact of menopause on sex. Male respondents were asked about experiencing impotence or other sexual problems and whether they had sought medical help. Other topics included extra-marital affairs, masturbation and sexual orientation. Respondents evaluated how satisfactory their sex life was on the whole.

Background variables included region of residence, municipality type, sex, mother tongue, education, marital status, age when married, number of children, employment, social class of the respondent and his/her father, family income, church membership and age and education of the spouse.

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