A survey of sexual behaviour of Singaporeans

Ann Acad Med Singap. 1992 Nov;21(6):723-9.


In order to plan education programmes against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV infection, a population-based survey on partner relations was conducted on 2,115 Singaporean men and women aged between 15 and 49 years. Of the 605 (60.1%) sexually experienced men and 647 (58.3%) sexually experienced women, 510 (84.3%) men and 644 (99.5%) women were married. Of the marrieds, 465 (76.9%) men and 638 (98.6%) women had their first sexual encounter with the person who was or later became their spouse. Of the sexually experienced men, 97 (16%) engaged in casual sex in the previous year, of which 76 (78.4%) were encounters with commercial sex workers. Of these encounters 55 (72.4%) were unprotected or partially protected by condoms. A history of casual sex in the previous four weeks was given by 18 men, of whom 14 (77.8%) were married. Nine (64.3%) of these married men had sex concurrently with both their wives and commercial workers. Persons at high risk were those who started sexual activity early, unmarried, sexually active men with no or low education, and persons who travelled. Of the sexually experienced respondents, 1,242 (99.2%) had heard about condoms, and 431 (34.4%) were currently using them as contraceptive devices. Attitudes towards condoms and willingness to use them to prevent STDs and HIV infection were favourable. Men were more permissive in their attitudes towards sex. The level of permissiveness in men and women was not corroborated by their reported behaviour, an indication of either under-reporting and/or a disparity between attitude and practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Homosexuality / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Work / statistics & numerical data
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / transmission
  • Singapore / epidemiology