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Are Swedes having less sex? Their government wants to know

Health issues affecting Swedes’ sex lives could be a political problem, the country’s health minister has said.

Swedes, yesterday.
Swedes, yesterday.
Image: Shutterstock/IVASHstudio

WORRIED THAT SWEDES aren’t having enough sex, the country’s government wants to analyse the bedroom activities of its citizens in a major new study.

It’s been 20 years since the last in-depth study of the sex habits of the Scandinavian welfare state, so Public Health Minister Gabriel Wikstrom says it’s high time for another survey.

One of the goals of the investigation, set to be completed in 2019, is to find out whether there’s any truth to Swedish tabloid reports that Swedes are having less sex than they used to.

“It’s important to investigate whether that is the case and if so, what the reason is,” he wrote today in an opinion piece in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

If stress and other health issues are affecting Swedes’ sex lives, he said, “that is also a political problem”.

Morgan Eklund, an official in Wikstrom’s office, said the minister was referring primarily to a 2013 survey of 3,000 people by the Aftonbladet tabloid, which found that lovemaking is on the wane in Sweden – a country with a reputation of being sexually liberated.

Eklund said the survey was not scientific enough to be used as the basis of government policies “but it points in a direction that can be interesting to follow up”.

In a separate article on the government’s website, Wikstrom said the Social Democratic-led government needs better information about people’s sex habits to guide its policies related to sexual and reproductive health.

“Sex is an area that strongly influences people’s health, so we can’t just talk about things like, for example, venereal disease, but also things that are positive and lust-filled about sex,” Wikstrom said.

The study will be carried out by the Public Health Agency of Sweden.

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