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FSD1243 Finnish Sex Survey 1992

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Authors

  • Haavio-Mannila, Elina (University of Helsinki. Department of Sociology)
  • Kontula, Osmo (University of Helsinki. Department of Public Health)

Keywords

attitudes, courtship, dating, extramarital sex, interpersonal relations, life styles, love, sexual behaviour, sexual consultation, sexual diseases, sexual harassment, sexual minorities, sexual partnerships, sexuality, single persons, unmarried

Abstract

A national survey on Finnish sexual life and sexual behaviour. Many questions were repeats from the 1971 Finnish Sex Life Survey (FSD1242e) and allow for comparative study of the data contained in these two surveys. However, in this survey some themes received greater emphasis (e.g. sexually transmitted diseases and their treatment, single persons, homosexuality and casual affairs).

At first respondents were asked about their parental home and sex education received at home and in school. The number of times respondents had been married or lived together with someone were investigated, likewise whether pregnancy had been the reason for getting married/start cohabiting. Respondents in a steady relationships were asked how they had met their partner, the length and happiness of the relationship, did they find it easy to talk about sex with their partner and how important sex was to the happiness of the relationship. Respondents with no steady relationship were asked what factors might have contributed to this. The number of friends, physical exercise habits, smoking and alcohol consumption were charted. Respondents' state of health was examined by asking whether they had certain symptoms (e.g. insomnia, exhaustion, dizziness) or suffered from certain chronic illnesses or injuries (e.g. cancer, angina pectoris) and whether they needed information on how this would affect their sexual life. Female respondents of certain age groups were asked about hormonal replacement therapy HRT.

Respondents' general happiness and feelings of loneliness were studied. Some questions focused on respondents' love life: falling in love, did they love somebody and were they themselves loved. Sexual morals were charted by asking respondents to what extent they agreed with statements relating to sex without love, sexual freedom, women's right to take the initiative, homosexuality, unions between homosexuals, polygamy of men and monogamy of women, casual sex, infidelity, viewing pornography, artificial insemination for single women, sexual relationships between the elderly, commercial sexual services, abortion, rape, etc. Respondents evaluated the importance of work, family, health, religion, etc. in their life. Some questions pertained to possible sexual relationships with colleagues, sexual harassment and birth control.

Respondents were asked at what age they experienced their first kiss, first steady relationship and first sexual intercourse. Several questions pertained to respondents' first and most recent sexual intercourse: who made the initiative, amount of alcohol consumed beforehand, use of contraception, position, pleasantness of the experience. Topics covered included the total number of sexual partners, experiences of anal intercourse, foreplay habits, reaching orgasm, experiences of 'swinging' with other couples and masturbation. Respondents evaluated how satisfactory their intercourses generally were. Respondents were also asked whether they would like to have more sex in their current relationship. One theme covered infidelity: married or cohabiting respondents were asked about affairs with persons other than their partner. Several questions pertained to sexual orientation, asking about sexual experiences with persons of the same sex. Use of pornography, experiences of commercial sex and of sexual harassment were charted, likewise pregnancies, miscarriages, abortions, impotence and other problems with intercourse.

Respondents evaluated their sex life and specified what would be their ideal sexual life style. They also evaluated the health care services relating to problems with sex. One question asked whether they had been worried about pregnancy, AIDS or of being sexually aberrant. Injecting drug use was charted. Respondents were asked whether the appearance of HIV had had an impact on their sexual behaviour and whether they had been tested for HIV. Some questions pertained to sexually transmitted diseases, gynaecological complaints, genital surgery or treatments. Causes for problems with sex were investigated.

Background variables included region of residence, municipality type, sex, age, education, social class of the respondent and his/her parents, respondents' employment, profession, net income, church membership, marital status, number of children and the age, employment and profession of the spouse.

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