EMF Health-effects Research

Mobile phones, web chat, and sex among Norwegian adolescents

Pedersen W

Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 124(13-14):1756-1759, 2004

[article in Norwegian]

BACKGROUND: We investigated the associations between new interactive technology for communication, such as web chat or mobile phones, and sexual behaviour among Norwegian adolescents.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A representative sample of adolescents (age 13-18, N = 10,926) filled in a questionnaire during school hours; the response rate was 92%.

RESULTS: Most adolescents have access to communication technology, but how much they use it varies. In particular with regard to mobile phones, a strong association to sexual behaviour was found. Among those who did not use the new technology, less than 10% reported having had intercourse while two out of three of the most active users reported intercourse. The associations remained significant when controls were made for age and a range of contextual, family, peer and individual factors.

INTERPRETATION: Norwegian adolescents have changed their sexual behaviour over the last decade. The introduction and widespread use of new communication technology is one of the most salient changes over the same period. The findings suggest that this technology may in fact be of importance to teenagers' sexual socialisation.

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