The Swedish government is launching a major study into the sex lives of the country’s citizens after reports emerged that lovemaking has waned. Public Health Minister Gabriel Wikstrom notes that the last thorough study of Swedes’ sex habits was 20 years ago.
Since then, reports in tabloid newspapers have pointed to a decrease in sexual activity. In an opinion piece in newspaper Dagens Nyheter on Friday, Wikstrom wrote that ‘it’s important to investigate whether that is the case and if so what the reason is.
’ If stress and other health issues are affecting Swedes’ sex lives, he says, ‘that is also a political problem.’ Wikstrom noted that ‘despite living in one of the world’s most equal countries, a large proportion of all girls and young women are exposed to objectification, sexist comments and sexual violence’.
Regarding the apparent decline of lovemaking, he said that a survey of people’s sexual behavior does not solve the problem ‘but it is an important part of getting a better understanding of the measures needed to make a difference’. ‘Sex is not, and never has been, a purely private matter. Sex is also a matter of human health, and from that perspective, a political issue,’ Wikstrom wrote.
The Public Health Agency of Sweden was tasked to carry out the study and prepare a report by 2019. The last study of sexual habits in Sweden was carried out in 1996. The results of the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) study, published in 2000, said that for both genders the total number of sexual partners had increased by approximately three partners since a similar study conducted in 1967. Men had on average 7.1 partners and women had 4.6. The study looked at everything from how people met their partners, masturbation, their first time, how they made love, contraception and reproduction.