FSD1243 Finnish Sex Survey 1992

The dataset is (B) available for research, teaching and study.

Download the data

Study description in other languages

Related files

Study title

Finnish Sex Survey 1992

Dataset ID Number


Persistent identifier


Data Type



  • Haavio-Mannila, Elina (University of Helsinki. Department of Sociology)
  • Kontula, Osmo (University of Helsinki. Department of Public Health)


A national survey on Finnish sexual life and sexual behaviour. Many questions were repeats from the 1971 Finnish Sex Life Survey (FSD1242e) and allow for comparative study of the data contained in these two surveys. However, in this survey some themes received greater emphasis (e.g. sexually transmitted diseases and their treatment, single persons, homosexuality and casual affairs).

At first respondents were asked about their parental home and sex education received at home and in school. The number of times respondents had been married or lived together with someone were investigated, likewise whether pregnancy had been the reason for getting married/start cohabiting. Respondents in a steady relationships were asked how they had met their partner, the length and happiness of the relationship, did they find it easy to talk about sex with their partner and how important sex was to the happiness of the relationship. Respondents with no steady relationship were asked what factors might have contributed to this. The number of friends, physical exercise habits, smoking and alcohol consumption were charted. Respondents' state of health was examined by asking whether they had certain symptoms (e.g. insomnia, exhaustion, dizziness) or suffered from certain chronic illnesses or injuries (e.g. cancer, angina pectoris) and whether they needed information on how this would affect their sexual life. Female respondents of certain age groups were asked about hormonal replacement therapy HRT.

Respondents' general happiness and feelings of loneliness were studied. Some questions focused on respondents' love life: falling in love, did they love somebody and were they themselves loved. Sexual morals were charted by asking respondents to what extent they agreed with statements relating to sex without love, sexual freedom, women's right to take the initiative, homosexuality, unions between homosexuals, polygamy of men and monogamy of women, casual sex, infidelity, viewing pornography, artificial insemination for single women, sexual relationships between the elderly, commercial sexual services, abortion, rape, etc. Respondents evaluated the importance of work, family, health, religion, etc. in their life. Some questions pertained to possible sexual relationships with colleagues, sexual harassment and birth control.

Respondents were asked at what age they experienced their first kiss, first steady relationship and first sexual intercourse. Several questions pertained to respondents' first and most recent sexual intercourse: who made the initiative, amount of alcohol consumed beforehand, use of contraception, position, pleasantness of the experience. Topics covered included the total number of sexual partners, experiences of anal intercourse, foreplay habits, reaching orgasm, experiences of 'swinging' with other couples and masturbation. Respondents evaluated how satisfactory their intercourses generally were. Respondents were also asked whether they would like to have more sex in their current relationship. One theme covered infidelity: married or cohabiting respondents were asked about affairs with persons other than their partner. Several questions pertained to sexual orientation, asking about sexual experiences with persons of the same sex. Use of pornography, experiences of commercial sex and of sexual harassment were charted, likewise pregnancies, miscarriages, abortions, impotence and other problems with intercourse.

Respondents evaluated their sex life and specified what would be their ideal sexual life style. They also evaluated the health care services relating to problems with sex. One question asked whether they had been worried about pregnancy, AIDS or of being sexually aberrant. Injecting drug use was charted. Respondents were asked whether the appearance of HIV had had an impact on their sexual behaviour and whether they had been tested for HIV. Some questions pertained to sexually transmitted diseases, gynaecological complaints, genital surgery or treatments. Causes for problems with sex were investigated.

Background variables included region of residence, municipality type, sex, age, education, social class of the respondent and his/her parents, respondents' employment, profession, net income, church membership, marital status, number of children and the age, employment and profession of the spouse.


attitudes; courtship; dating; infidelity; interpersonal relations; life styles; love; sexual behaviour; sexual consultation; sexual diseases; sexual harassment; sexual intimacy; sexual minorities; sexuality; single persons; unmarried

Topic Classification


Individual datasets


Finnish Social Science Data Archive


The dataset is (B) available for research, teaching and study.

Data Collector

  • Statistics Finland

Data Producers

  • National Agency for Welfare and Health
  • Academy of Finland

Time Period Covered


Collection Dates

1991-11 – 1992-02



Geographical Coverage


Analysis/Observation Unit Type



People aged 18-74 living in Finland (excluding people in residential care and persons who suffer from serious psychical or mental illnesses)

Time Method

Longitudinal: Trend/Repeated cross-section

Sampling Procedure

Probability: Simple random

The original sample consisted of 3049 persons, of whom 85 lived permanently abroad, were deceased, in residential care or unable to respond due to illness. The net sample was 2964 persons, of whom 636 refused to answer and 78 were not reached. The number of persons interviewed face-to-face was 2250. The non-response rate was 24,1 % (714 persons). The number of completed self-administered questionnaires was 2196. Seven persons were interviewed instead of completing the self-administered questionnaire because of difficulties to complete it, 28 participants who had been interviewed refused to complete it, 16 were unable to complete it and six persons completed it only partially.

Before data collection, both the media and the sampled persons were informed of the survey and its purposes. There were 164 interviewers, employed by the Statistics Finland. Appointments for the interviews were made by telephone beforehand and most interviews took place in the respondent's home. After the face-to-face interview, respondents answered the questions in the self-administered questionnaire themselves, in the presence but out of sight of the interviewer. On average, the interview and the self-administered questionnaire took about 78 minutes.

Collection Mode

Face-to-face interview

Self-administered questionnaire: Paper

Research Instrument

Structured questionnaire

Response Rate


Data File Language

Downloaded data package may contain different language versions of the same files.

The data files of this dataset are available in the following languages: Finnish and English.

FSD translates quantitative data into English on request, free of charge. More information on ordering data translation.

Number of Cases and Variables

436 variables and 2249 cases.

Data Version


Related Datasets




Completeness of Data and Restrictions

The response rate for women was 77,7 percent and for men 74,2 percent. Respondents aged under 25 had the highest response rate (83,3%) and those aged 35-44 the lowest (71,8%). The response rate for different regions varied from 70,3 to 88,2 per cent. Considering marital status, divorced persons responded least often (72,3%) and widows most often (82,6%).

The category labels of the open-ended question 64 are incomplete.

The variables of the face-to-face interview begin with the designation a_q and those of the self-administered questionnaire with b_q. Variable numbering corresponds with the numbering of the questions in the original forms.

The data does not contain responses to the open-ended questions 10, 29, 32, 57, 100 and 111 of the face-to-face interview, nor responses to the open-ended categories of the questions 10, 40 and 76 in the self-administered questionnaire.


There are no weight variables in the data.

Citation Requirement

The data and its creators shall be cited in all publications and presentations for which the data have been used. The bibliographic citation may be in the form suggested by the archive or in the form required by the publication.

Bibliographical Citation

Haavio-Mannila, Elina (University of Helsinki) & Kontula, Osmo (University of Helsinki): Finnish Sex Survey 1992 [dataset]. Version 2.0 (2018-08-10). Finnish Social Science Data Archive [distributor]. http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi:fsd:T-FSD1243

Deposit Requirement

The user shall notify the archive of all publications where she or he has used the data.


The original data creators and the archive bear no responsibility for any results or interpretations arising from the reuse of the data.

Related Publications Tooltip

Frisk, Matleena & Taavetti, Riikka (2020) FINSEX-tutkimusten sokea piste: Ohitetun väkivallan yhteiskunnalliset seuraukset Sukupuolentutkimus 33(4), 39-44.

Haavio-Mannila, Elina & Kontula, Osmo & Kuusi, Elina (2001). Trends in sexual life: measured by national sex surveys in Finland in 1971, 1992 and 1999, and a comparison to a sex survey in St. Petersburg in 1996. Helsinki: Family Federation of Finland, Population Research Institute. Working papers E; 10.

Haavio-Mannila, Elina & Kontula, Osmo (1994). Sexual behavior changes in Finland during the last 20 years. Nordisk Sexologi 12(3), 196-214.

Haavio-Mannila, Elina & Kontula, Osmo (2001). Seksin trendit meillä ja naapureissa. Helsinki: WSOY.

Haavio-Mannila, Elina & Kontula, Osmo (2003). Sexual Trends in the Baltic Sea Area. Helsinki: The Family Federation of Finland. The Population Research Institute. Publications of the Population Research Institute, Series D 41/2003.

Haavio-Mannila, Elina & Kontula, Osmo (2003). Single and Double Sexual Standards in Finland, Estonia, and St. Petersburg. The Journal of Sex Research, 40(1), 36-49.

Haavio-Mannila, Elina & Roos, J.P. & Rotkirch, Anna (2004). Olivatko suuret ikäluokat murroksen moottoreita? Sukupolven ja periodin vaikutuksen erittelyä seksin, politiikan ja vapaa-ajan suhteen. Teoksessa: Yhteiskunnan moottori vai kivireki? Suuret ikäluokat ja 1960-lukulaisuus (toim. Jani Erola & Terhi-Anna Wilska), 215-238. Jyväskylä: Sophi.

Haavio-Mannila, Elina & Rotkirch, Anna (1998). Generational and Gender Differences in sexual Life in St. Petersburg and Urban Finland. Yearbook of Population Research in Finland XXXIV, 133-160. Helsinki: The Population Research Institute.

Haavio-Mannila, Elina & Sinnemäki, Aino (2005). Sosioekonominen asema, sosiaalinen liikkuvuus ja seksuaalinen liikkuvaisuus. Teoksessa: Tutkimus menetelmien pyörteissä (toim. Pekka Räsänen & Anu-Hanna Anttila & Harri Melin), 257-278. Jyväskylä: PS-kustannus.

Kontula, Osmo & Haavio-Mannila, Elina & Suoknuuti, Helena (1994). Finnish sex: the tables of all the questions of the 1992 survey and the comparable questions of the 1971 survey. Helsinki: Kansanterveystieteen laitokset. Kansanterveystieteen julkaisuja M; 113.

Kontula, Osmo & Haavio-Mannila, Elina (1995). Sexual pleasures: enhancement of sex life in Finland 1971-1992. Dartmouth: Aldershot.

Suomalainen seksi: tietoa suomalaisten sukupuolielämän muutoksesta (1993). Toim. Osmo Kontula & Elina Haavio-Mannila. Juva: WSOY.

Taavetti, Riikka (2021). Suomalaisuus ja seksi: FINSEX-tutkimusten käsitteelliset rajat 1971-1999. Teoksessa Matias Kaihovirta & Tiina Lintunen (toim.) Työväki ja seksi. Väki Voimakas 34. Helsinki: Työväen historian ja perinteen tutkimuksen seura, 319-351. https://helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10138/334554

Zhuk, Iryna L. (2013). Transformation of culture of sexual relations in Ukraine: experience of intercultural comparative analysis. Doctoral dissertation, Institute of Sociology of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine (only Title in English).

Study description in machine readable DDI 2.0 format

Creative Commons License
Metadata record is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.