According to a survey by the Sweden-based World Internet Institute, nearly one in five Swedish web surfers – 17 percent – has gone online to visit sites with sexual content.
“It’s actually not that surprising that surfing the web for sex is increasing. Attitudes toward sex in society play a role in how honest people are, as does internet use overall – more and more services are carried out online these days,” World Internet Institute CEO Janne Elvelid told the TT news agency.
Since 2003, the percentage of Swedish internet users who have gone online to visit sex sites has increased nearly six-fold.
On the other hand, the percentage of Swedes who report visiting sexually-themed websites on a regular basis has remained steady at around 4 percent.
Not surprisingly, men under the age of 25 were found to surf the net for sex most often, with nearly one third of respondents reporting they had visited websites with sexual content. The corresponding figure for young women is only 4 percent.
Nevertheless, the study does reveal that there has been a massive increase in the number of Swedish women who admit to logging on to look for sexual content.
“Women and men have become more comparable in their internet usage,” said Elvelid.
From an international perspective, however, Swedes aren’t as hungry for sexual content as web surfers from other countries.
According to the World Internet Institute figures from 2007, only 11 percent of Swedes said they visited sexually-themed websites, the lowest percentage of all countries included in the comparison.
Figures for the UK, on the other hand, showed that 14 percent of British internet users looked for sexual material, while 29 percent of web surfers in the United States reported visiting sex sites.
The top spot went to the Czech Republic, however, where 40 percent of respondents said they surfed the web fin search of sex websites.
The survey results come from responses from 2,000 telephone interviews in which respondents were asked, “How often, if ever, do you use the internet to look at sexual material?”