A new study indicates that sexual behavior among female university students in Sweden has changed during the last 25 years, with behavior now appearing more risky than before.

The surveys were taken as part of contraceptive counseling delivered at a Student Health Center in Sweden. 

In 1989, age at first intercourse was 17.6 years vs. 16.7 years in 2014, number of lifetime sexual partners was 4.0 vs. 12.1 in 2014, and number of sexual partners during the previous 12 months was 1.0 vs. 2.8 in 2014. Condom use during first intercourse with the latest partner decreased from 49% to 41% in the Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica study, and experience of anal sex increased from 39% to 46% (n = 136 in 2009 vs. n = 165 in 2014: p = 0.038), and 25% (n = 41 in 2014) always used a condom during anal sex.

A total of 70% (n = 251) made use of pornography, and 48% (n = 121) considered their sexual behavior affected by pornography. Eighty-nine percent (n = 291) wanted two to three children and 9% (n = 33) had thought about freezing eggs for the future. The female students’ knowledge about increasing age being correlated with decreased fertility varied.

The authors conclude that since sexual behavior among female university students has gotten more risky during the last 25 years, this may have consequences on future reproductive health so it is vital to inform women about consistent and correct condom use and about the limitations of the fertile window.

Citation: Stenhammar C, Ehrsson YT, Åkerud H, Larsson M, Tydén T. Sexual and contraceptive behavior among female university students in Sweden – repeated surveys over a 25-year period. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2015; DOI: 10.1111/aogs.12565