FSD2798 Lifestyles and Life Circumstances of Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals 1982-1983

The dataset is (C) available for research only (including Master's, doctoral and Polytechnic/University of Applied Sciences Master's theses). The dataset may not be used for teaching, study (e.g. seminar papers, essays) or other theses (Bachelor's theses or equivalent).

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  • Haavio-Mannila, Elina (University of Helsinki. Department of Sociology)
  • Grönfors, Martti (University of Helsinki. Department of General Jurisprudential Studies)
  • Mustola, Kati (University of Helsinki. Department of Sociology)
  • Stålström, Olli (University of Helsinki. Department of General Jurisprudential Studies)


discrimination, homosexuality, interpersonal relations, same-sex relationships, sexual behaviour, sexual identity, sexual orientation, social behaviour, social environment


The study charted everyday experiences of people belonging to sexual minorities in Finland. Topics studied included the formation of sexual identity, sexual behaviour and experiences of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The respondents were first asked what the orientations of their sexual behaviour and their sexual feelings were, how important they personally regarded religion, whether they were at the moment of the survey or had previously been married, whether they had children, whether the children lived with them, whether they would like to have children, and which method of having a child they would use if they wanted children. Male respondents were also asked whether they had completed military service, and if they had not, whether they were going to do so. Further questions charted whom the respondents lived with, whether they had had intimate relations with a person of the opposite sex, whether they were in a same-sex relationship at the moment of the survey, and whether they had other intimate same-sex relations besides their relationship. One set of questions surveyed how many of their friends were gays or lesbians, and what their relationship to the members of the same sex was principally like.

Relating to intimate relationships, questions charted same-sex relationship at the time of the survey, previous same-sex relationships, management of finances, and the division of chores. The next set of questions focused on social relationships, charting the attitude of different people towards the respondents' sexuality (e.g. mother, father, sisters, neighbours), from whom the respondents kept their sexuality secret, how much of their leisure time they spent with gays and lesbians (other than partner), whether their closest friends were women or men and hetero- or homosexual, how many of all their friends were heterosexual, and how many were the same sex as them.

One set of questions surveyed the respondents' leisure time, with questions studying membership of an organisation for gays and lesbians, different events and places aimed at gays and lesbians visited by the respondents as well as alcohol use and its consequences. Relating to first same-sex experiences and sexual awareness, the respondents were asked about their first sexual interest towards members of the same sex, and first sexual contact with a member of the same sex.

The attitudes of different people and groups in different situations towards the respondents' sexual orientation were charted. Questions investigated the attitudes of people in the respondents' neighbourhoods, the attitudes of public authorities (e.g. the police, courts), of parents and relatives, of medical professionals as well as attitudes of people in public, in the working life and at school and studies. Some questions surveyed the pressure faced by the respondents to "turn" heterosexual, for instance, whether a person of the opposite sex had ever suggested coitus to them in an attempt to change their sexual orientation, and whether the respondents had ever felt they should turn heterosexual.

Finally, the respondents were asked whether they had ever moved abroad or considered doing so because of their sexual orientation, which magazines marketed at gays, lesbians and bisexuals they read, and where they had received the survey questionnaire.

The background variables included the respondent's gender, age group, mother tongue, nationality, type of municipality of residence, major region of residence, education, and economic activity and occupational status.

Study description in machine readable DDI 2.0 format

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