Why fewer Swedes are using condoms in 2016

Why fewer Swedes are using condoms in 2016
Photo: Robert Henriksson / SvD / TT
The overall number of Swedes using condoms is in decline, according to a new report from the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RSFU).

Of the 1062 Swedes quizzed by the agency in its 2016 Condom Check (Kodiskållen) study, 17 percent said they decided not to use a condom in the heat of the moment, while only 38 percent chose to use one with a new partner. That development is a shift from results of surveys from previous years, according to Pelle Ullholm, programme officer in sexuality education at the RSFU.

“We had seen a long-standing trend towards increasing condom use with new partners, but now the trend has been broken, even if it isn’t a dramatic change,” he told news agency TT.

The research shows that heterosexual males are the least likely to use a condom, while the most likely were men having sex with other men, with the latter point consistent with previous editions of the survey.

Another point of note is that young people buck the trend of declining condom use when having sex with a new partner. The study suggests that more individuals between the age of 21 and 35 are choosing to use a condom in those situations, with the number growing from 43 percent in 2013 to 48 percent in 2016. Sex education at school is believed to be a source of that development.  

“The younger you are, the better you are at protecting yourself. Much depends on the information given in primary school and high school, which means that many are beginning to reflect on sex and protection,” wrote the RSFU on its official website.

The difference in age groups is also reflected in the overall numbers, with one in three young adults saying they normally use a condom, compared to only 16 percent of those aged between 50-60.