Sweden is launching a three-year official
study of its citizens’ sex lives – the first
for 20 years.
Health Minister Gabriel Wikstrom said
sexual health policy should be guided not
just by the problems, but also by the
pleasurable aspects of sex.
Surveys done by tabloid newspapers
suggest Swedes are having less sex, he
wrote in the daily Dagens Nyheter. The
new study should find out if that is true,
and if so why, he said.
Stress could be a problem, he said.
The study will be conducted by Sweden’s
Public Health Agency, with the final report
expected in June 2019.
Mr Wikstrom said it was “paradoxical
that, while our whole society seems
permeated by sex, in everything from
advertising and social media to much of
daily life, the topic is still shrouded by
shame… and absent from the political
Focusing on problems such as venereal
disease, unwanted pregnancies and rape,
to the exclusion of positive sexual
experiences, risked distorting health
policy, he said.
“How can we change attitudes,” he asked,
“when so many people, from parents and
teachers to senior officials, are so
obviously uncomfortable when talking
about sex?”