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Swedish Teenagers' Attitudes Toward the Emergency Contraceptive Pill
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences.
2001 (English)In: Journal of Adolescent Health, ISSN 1054-139X, E-ISSN 1879-1972, Vol. 28, no 4, 313-318 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

PURPOSE: To explore knowledge, attitudes toward, and experience with, the emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) among teenagers in Sweden.

METHODS: A questionnaire with 23 questions concerning the students' demographics, knowledge of, attitudes toward, and experience of the ECP was delivered to a random sample of 20 classes in senior high school in two medium-sized cities in Sweden. The participation rate was 100% (n = 408). Differences in responses between teenagers in the two cities, boys and girls, theoretical and practical classes, or native Swedish and immigrant teenagers were calculated with the Chi-square test.

RESULTS: The mean age was 16.5 years. Almost half (45.4%) of the teenagers had had sexual intercourse and of those, 28.3% stated that they themselves or their partner had used ECP. Four of five teenagers knew about ECP and where to obtain it if necessary. Many teenagers (67.3%) also knew that ECP prevented implantation. The main sources of information about ECP were youth clinics (n = 179) and friends (n = 159). The attitude toward using ECP in an emergency situation was positive, but the teenagers, especially girls, were restrictive as to whether ECP should be available without a prescription. The girls believed ECP could be used much more, and two-thirds of both sexes thought it could lead to negligence with ongoing contraception. Seventy-seven percent of teenagers preferred turning to a youth clinic when in need of ECP. One in four believed that concerns for side effects could deter them from using ECP.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on the results in the present study, the importance of counseling in this situation is confirmed. The awareness about ECP was good, but teenagers also expressed concerns about side effects. The girls were more hesitant than the boys about having ECP available over the counter.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 28, no 4, 313-318 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92584DOI: 10.1016/S1054-139X(00)00164-6PubMedID: 11287250OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-92584DiVA: diva2:165723
Available from: 2005-02-25 Created: 2005-02-25 Last updated: 2011-01-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Worlds Apart?: Sexual Behaviour, Contraceptive Use, and Pornography Consumption Among Young Women and Men
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Worlds Apart?: Sexual Behaviour, Contraceptive Use, and Pornography Consumption Among Young Women and Men
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this thesis was to investigate the knowledge of, attitudes toward, and experiences of the emergency contraceptive pill (ECP), sexual behaviour, and pornography consumption among high school students and young people. Data were obtained by questionnaires (studies I, II, and III), and by qualitative in-depth interviews (study IV).

A majority of 16-year old high-school students were aware that ECP existed, and knew where to obtain it. Attitudes toward using ECP were generally positive, but more girls than boys were hesitant as to whether ECP should be available without a prescription. Of those having experienced sexual intercourse, more than one fourth stated that they themselves or their partner had ever used ECP (I).

Almost half of the 16-year old high-school students surveyed (46%) had had sexual intercourse, a number similar in studies conducted 10 and 20 years earlier. Use of contraceptives at first intercourse had increased (to 76%) and use of alcohol had decreased (to 23%). More students in practical rather than theoretical programs smoked, had sexual intercourse at an earlier age, had more partners, and used contraceptives at first intercourse less often (II).

Three out of four 18-year old students had had sexual intercourse, of which almost three quarters reported contraceptive use at first intercourse. Anal intercourse was reported by one sixth, with infrequent condom use. Males who consumed more pornography were more likely than males who consumed less pornography to engage in a variety of sexual activities, as were males with an early age at first sexual intercourse (III).

The core category that emerged in the interviews was “Living with the current sexual norm”, pornography created sexual expectations and demands. The interviewees expressed contradictory feelings towards pornography and felt that sexuality was separated from intimacy. In order to deal with the current sexual norm, participants had different individual handling strategies, including liberal-, normalization-, distance-, feminist- and conservative strategies (IV).

Overall, the studies highlight several differences between genders and between students attending practical- and theoretical study programs in questions concerning ECP, sexual behaviour and pornography. These differences should be addressed while planning for counselling and sex education. We suggest that health- and school personnel discuss how sexuality is portrayed in pornographic material with young people.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2005. 74 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 6
Caring sciences, Adolescents, attitudes, emergency contraception, gender differences, grounded theory, pornography, sexual behavior, Sweden, youth, Vårdvetenskap
National Category
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-4779 (URN)91-554-6144-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2005-03-18, Rosénsalen, Kvinno- och barnkliniken, Akademiska sjukhuset, Uppsala, 13:15
Available from: 2005-02-25 Created: 2005-02-25Bibliographically approved

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