Sexuality Among Young Danes Treated for Long-Lasting or Severe Physical Disease: Baseline Findings in a Nationwide Cohort Study

Christian Graugaard*, Mikkel Kjær Bahnsen, Kirsten A. Boisen, Josefine Bernhard Andresen, Mikael Andersson, Morten Frisch


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Sexual ramifications of physical disease are well-documented in adult populations, but are scarcely investigated among adolescents and young adults (AYA). This study compared measures of sexuality and sexual health among 8,696 15-year-old to 24-year-old Danes with and without a history of treatment for long-lasting or severe physical disease.

Using baseline data from Project SEXUS, a nationally representative cohort study on sexual health in the Danish population, differences in various domains of sexual behaviors and sexual health between AYA who have and AYA who have not been treated for long-lasting or severe physical disease were investigated. Logistic regression analyses yielded demographically weighted age-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for associations between physical diseases and sexual outcomes.

AYA treated for long-lasting or severe physical disease resembled their healthy peers on fundamental aspects of sexual interest, activity and satisfaction. However, significantly increased odds ratios of various sexual difficulties and dysfunctions, early sexual debut, high sex partner numbers, discontentment with body or genital appearance, gender nonconformity, nonheterosexuality, and exposure to sexual assaults were observed, overall or within specific disease categories.

The overall similarity in sexual profiles between AYA treated for physical disease and healthy peers indicates that clinicians should routinely address questions related to sexuality and relationships when encountering AYA with chronic health conditions. Moreover, the observed excess of certain adversities, including sexual assaults, among physically ill AYA highlights the need for preventive measures and counseling services specifically targeted at AYA afflicted by physical disease.
TidsskriftJournal of Adolescent Health
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)252-261
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2023

Bibliografisk note

Copyright © 2023 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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