Young Danes' experiences with unsafe sex

Dan Med J. 2013 Jan;60(1):A4566.


Introduction: Surveying sexual behaviour of the general population serves to identify key points of preventive interventions, monitor the effect and interpret changes in patterns of disease. Validated questionnaires describing sexual behaviour can be adapted to some extent from other countries, but national adaption, refinement and validation are needed due to cultural differences. The aim of this study was to identify factors influencing sexual risk behaviour among Danish adolescents with a view to designing and -initiating a national sexual behaviour surveillance programme in Denmark.

Material and methods: We conducted four semi-structured focus group interviews with a total of 19 sexually -experienced adolescents aged 18-23 years who attended a Danish Folk High School. Data were transcribed verbatim and analysed using qualitative description.

Results: Four main categories of sexual risk behaviour were identified: 1) alcohol consumption which was associated with lack of condom use, 2) one-night stands after a night out partying, at festivals or on vacations, 3) low self-esteem which increased the risk of pushing one's personal boundaries, thus resulting in promiscuous sexual behaviour, 4) increased sexual experience which resulted in lack of condom use.

Conclusion: This study identified four categories that may lead to unsafe sex. These results should be taken into consideration when planning future preventive programmes aiming to reduce sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies among adolescents and young adults.

Funding: Not relevant.

Trial registration: Not relevant.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data
  • Contraception Behavior / psychology
  • Denmark
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Concept*
  • Unsafe Sex / prevention & control
  • Unsafe Sex / psychology*
  • Young Adult