Young Danes still the champions of unprotected sex

September 17th, 2013

This article is more than 11 years old.

While 96 percent of Danes aged 18 to 25 know that condoms protect against STDs, just 56 percent used them the last time they slept with a new partner

According to a new survey from the health authorities, Sundhedsstyrelsen, the younger generation is having serious trouble busting out the condom when they get lucky after a night out.

The survey, which was compiled in conjunction with Sundhedsstyrelsen’s 'Kun med Kondom' (‘Only with a Condom’) campaign, found that just 56 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 25 used a condom the last time they had sex with a new partner.

”It’s a challenge to get more people to use a condom," Niels Sandø, a Sundhedsstyrelsen specialist, told DR Nyheder. "If they don’t feel that it’s an issue that will affect them, then they think there is no reason to mess around with a condom.” 

READ MORE: When in Copenhagen, wear a condom, Swedes warn

"It won't happen to me"
Even though the survey found that 96 percent of people surveyed understood that condoms are the most effective form of protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), 84 percent believed that the risk of being infected themselves is ‘very low’ to ‘low’.

Sandø contended that the younger generation makes their decision to have unprotected sex based on a flimsy background.

"I know the guy or girl who I’m sleeping with. We go to the same school, the same university course or whatnot, and we’re not like that,” Sandø said in describing how the younger people think. “That’s a wrong and dangerous conclusion to make on a very feeble background.”

While the young people surveyed may think that it won’t happen to them, reality tells a very different tale. Nineteen percent of those asked in the survey said that they had had one or more STDs and amongst 23 to 25 year-olds, that figure jumped to 26 percent, over a quarter of the population.

Campaign to raise awareness
The results mean that Sundhedsstyrelsen has a lot of work ahead of it when it comes to enlightening the Danish youth on the dangers of unprotected sex.

The ‘Only with a Condom’ campaign, which Sundhedsstyrelsen has launched in co-operation with the Danish family-planning association, Sex & Samfund, aims to raise awareness about the issue.

“We have to be better at informing people about how many are actually being infected,” Sandø told DR Nyheder.

The new survey results largely mirror a similar study from last year in which only about half of young people surveyed said they wore a condom with a new partner. A YouGov survey in July also found that Danes were tops in Europe when it came to being unfaithful, watching porn and contracting STDs.

READ MORE: When it comes to sex, Danes are on top (but still looking for more)

Factfile | Condom use survey

–         96 percent know that a condom protects against STDs

–         56 percent used a condom the last time they had sex with a new partner

–         84 percent believe that the risk of infection is small or very small

–         25 percent have had an STD

–         72 percent of those who have had an STD believe their chances of getting another one is very small or small

–         73 percent underestimate how many young people that get an STD

–         60-80 percent recognise the symptoms of an STD


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