Sexual behaviour in Italy

Maria Castiglioni, Università di Padova
Marcantonio Caltabiano, Università di Messina
Gianpiero Dalla Zuanna, University of Padua

Over the last thirty years many researches on sexuality have been carried out all around the Western World which have enormously enriched our knowledge. In Italy the last nationwide representative survey was carried out in 1977. The researches for Italy developed during the last thirty years do not allow reliable comparisons for a great enough number of generations and often lack a statistically valid sampling. In this paper, for the first time, we present some results of ISI 2006 (Italian Sexual Survey – year 2006), an extensive, large-scale study, with rigorous sample methodology, involving a large number of generations, that enabled us to reconstruct the history of the Italian sexual changes and to provide an exact picture of values and sexual behaviour of the Italian population. ISI 2006 has been carried out on a nationwide representative sample of Italians aged 18-69, interviewed using a structured questionnaire divided into two parts. The first one, given face-to-face by an interviewer, concerned the structural variables, and values and norms regarding sexuality. The questions of the second part had to be self-filled in by the interviewee. They concerned the sexual biography and behaviours, and sexual orientation. We present here some general quantitative results, mainly concerning the sexual debut, the number of partner, and some sexual practices, comparing cohorts born in 1937-1988, and considering some differential characteristics (education, place of residence, church attendance).

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Presented in Session 10: Sexual and reproductive health: perspective on reproduction