Sexual health and behavior of young people in Switzerland

Abstract

Improving sexual and reproductive health is a public health priority, and the timing of first sexual intercourse and the context in which it occurs both have health implications. Moreover, information and monitoring about sexual behavior is essential to the design and assessment of interventions to improve sexual health.

The last survey centered on the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents/young adults in Switzerland was carried out in 1995. Since then, all data on the subject come from general surveys. As contextual factors, the life contexts of youths explain a large amount of the variance in sex-related behaviors, and a fair amount of new developments have appeared in the last twenty years that might have had an impact on youth’s sexual behavior: AIDS has gone from a fatal to a chronic condition, there has been a liberalization of the access to emergency contraception, Swiss law changed in 2002 and allowed abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, the HPV vaccine is recommended as part of the vaccination program (for girls since 2008 and for boys since 2016), sildenafil citrate (e.g. Viagra®) has appeared on the market as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, pornography has become extremely accessible and free, phenomena of online sex and sexting have emerged. These changes might have an impact on adolescent sexual behaviors although we do not know how and to what extent.

This survey provides self-reported information from young adults in Switzerland. The primary objective was to obtain current epidemiological data on young people’s sexual and reproductive health and behaviors.

Type de publication : Raisons de santé