Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Sexuality in Secondary-school Students in Slovenia: behaviour, health and attitudes

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.03.00  Social sciences  Sociology   

Code Science Field
S210  Social sciences  Sociology 

Code Science Field
5.04  Social Sciences  Sociology 
high school students, sexuality, values, attitudes, behaviour, sexual health
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (12)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  08081  PhD Ivan Bernik  Sociology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  351 
2.  18890  Judita Goričar    Technical associate  2014 - 2016 
3.  15257  PhD Valentina Hlebec  Sociology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  625 
4.  07782  PhD Irena Klavs  Medical sciences  Researcher  2013 - 2016  530 
5.  16367  PhD Tina Kogovšek  Sociology  Head  2013 - 2016  351 
6.  21584  PhD Roman Kuhar  Culturology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  806 
7.  24615  MSc Tanja Kustec  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2013 - 2016  178 
8.  32324  Maja Mrzel  Sociology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  58 
9.  20544  Irena Salmič    Technical associate  2013 - 2016 
10.  29686  PhD Iztok Šori  Sociology  Researcher  2016  208 
11.  18260  PhD Alenka Švab  Sociology  Researcher  2013 - 2016  637 
12.  30641  Sonja Tomšič  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2013 - 2016  196 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0366  Peace Institute  Ljubljana  5498295000  3,619 
2.  0582  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences  Ljubljana  1626957  40,036 
3.  3333  National Institut of Public Health  Ljubljana  6462642  18,462 
Contemporary sociological theoretical studies of intimacy and sexuality have been dominated by the thesis that this social sphere has been in the process of revolutionary transformations (e.g., Baumann, 1999; Giddens, 2000). Given that Western sexuality has already been revolutionized in the Sixties, current transformation is termed by some authors the »neosexual revolution« (Sigusch, 1998). Although theoretical accounts of the »neosexual revolution« differ in many respects, their authors agree that in the centre of current transformation there is a triple process of differentiation, individualization and rationalization of sexuality (Bernik, 2010). Surveys of sexual behaviour and attitudes (e.g., Johnson et al., 1994; Laumann et al., 1994; Michael et al.,1995; Schmidt, 2006) provide little support for the thesis that contemporary sexuality has again beentransformed in a sudden, revolutionary way. Instead, they show its transformation as rather gradual and of longue duree, agreeing, however, with theoretical analyses as regards the trends of change. Empirical studies also indicate these trends are most visible in the younger generation. Recent reviews of research trends show that adolescent sexual behaviour and attitudes have remained an intensively researched topic (Moore and Rosenthal, 2006). Nevertheless, there have only been few representative and comprehensive national studies of adolescent sexual behaviour conducted even in the countries with wellestablished social science research of sexuality. Most studies of adolescent sexuality have been performed on convenience samples and limited to some aspects of this broad topic, especially the risk aspects of adolescent sexuality (Moore et al., 1996). In effect, many other aspects of adolescent sexual expression, which are an important part of sexual growing-up (e.g. various sources of sexual (dis)satisfaction, communication patterns between sexual partners, social and cultural background of sexual expression) have often been neglected. Nevertheless, there have been research traditions in the field of adolescent sexuality which planning of a new research can draw on. Our research project will aim to follow the German research tradition. In contrast to the prevalence of non-representative and narrowly focused studies elsewhere, in Germany the tradition of comprehensive longitudinal research into sexual behaviour and attitudes of adolescents (16 to 17 years old) and students reaches back more than four decades (Sigusch and Schmidt, 1973; Schmidt et al., 1993, Schmidt, 2000). Despite limited resources, Slovenian social science has been able to follow international research trends in many fields, however, this does not apply to the study of social and cultural organization of sexuality, especially the sexuality of younger generations. In Slovenia, the first attempts to study adolescent sexuality empirically emerged only in the beginning of the Nineties. Later on, a few surveys on various samples of Slovenian adolescent population were conducted(Androjna and Kerčmar, 1994; Pinter and Andolšek, 1995; Bernik et al., 1996 and 1997, Pinter et al., 2006).The aim of our research project is to conduct the first comprehensive survey of adolescent sexuality and attitudes on a representative sample of Slovenian adolescents aged 16 to 18. The survey will cover all major aspects of adolescent sexual expression with an in-depth focus on those which have been identified in foreign studies as scientifically most salient. In designing the research programme, we will also take into account the Slovenian research tradition. In addition, our survey will also provide data relevant for the explanation of the embeddedness of adolescent sexuality into social and cultural contexts. In practical terms, it will provide valid information on the basis of which educational, health and other policies relevant to adolescent sexuality can be designed.
Significance for science
The research project contributed and continues to contribute importantly to development of the social sciences in the following ways. Special scientific value of the project lies in its interdisciplinary orientation, i.e. in connecting social sciences and medicine, especially in the field of public health services. This collaboration has already been proved epistemologically useful especially in studying risk behaviours in intimate lifestyles – this was also one of the main dimensions in the proposed research project. The project brought new empirical findings and understanding of the main characteristics of adolescents' sexuality. In theoretical as well as in methodological sense it contributed to further »synchronization« of Slovenian research with international research trends, which is especially important with regard to the lack of research in the field of adolescents' sexuality and general population in Slovenia. On the basis of empirical data, it was possible to formulate new theoretical understandings in the field. The project enabled us new methodological experience in the field of studying intimacy, intimate lifestyles, sexual behaviour, which is useful in further studies on different populations. The project contributed to enhancement of researching the field. The aim of the project was also to be a starting point for longitudinal research of adolescents' sexuality. It has to be stressed that the study was done on a representative probability sample of adolescents which is rare in research abroad and in Slovenia. The project enabled international collaboration in two senses: 1) Data, comparable with data from other international studies. 2) Presentations of findings in international scientific circles enable inclusion of project members into these circles, promotion of national research achievements and collaboration in joint international research projects.
Significance for the country
Direct significance of the project and its results for broader society is as follows. Research findings on risk and uncertainties in adolescents' sexuality are directly useful for: - Public administration – a basis for formulating guidelines for public health policies; as well, these results are a sound basis for formulating a modern and systematic sexual education in schools where currently there is a great deficit; - Experts in the field of health and psychological counselling; - Nongovernmental organizations in the field; - Applicative effect in informing different populations about characteristics of sexuality of an important segment of the population; - General educative effect: currently in Slovenia, the field of intimate lifestyles is in public usually discussed without knowledge of the actual state of affairs and true dilemmas and risks; - Effect on public discourse on intimate life and therefore on awareness about risks and dilemmas, associated with modern intimate lifestyles and sexual health. Among indirect effects the following could be stated: 1. The importance for the promotion of Slovenia abroad is especially in the promotion of science abroad: promotion of research findings and achievements on international conferences and similar scientific events; formation of international (bilateral and other) contacts and participating in international research networks; in this sense, the project enables promotion of research achievements and research collaboration; the research project is crucial for the development of the field, which is lacking in Slovenia and important for the development of science in general; the research especially contributes to greater awareness in the field, where risks are mainly individual, but have important societal consequences. 2. Access to knowledge abroad: participation in international research networks and on international scientific conferences, where our empirical findings were and will be presented, enable us to gain and access the knowledge of scientific findings of other researchers in the field and comparison of our findings to the findings elsewhere and in this sense contribute to development of the field in Slovenia. 3. Inclusion in international research projects: our own empirical data are crucial for our collaboration with researchers from abroad and participation in international research networks. Examples of already established collaboration that we would like to continue are: - Bilateral project of Slovenia and Croatia »Sociocultural and psychosocial aspects of sexual health of young people in Slovenia and Croatia: an overview of studies from 1970 to 2008« Faculty of social sciences, University of Ljubljana. Project group: Alenka Švab (head), Ivan Bernik (FSSUL), Roman Kuhar (Peace Institute). - Collaboration within the European Sociological Association (ESA) in the research network on sexuality. The new research project enabled us in making contacts for scientific collaboration in future applications for European research projects. 4. Education and development of experts: inclusion of research findings into the university pedagogical process (under and postgraduate level courses taught by the project members: e.g. Sociology of sexuality, Sexuality studies, Gay and lesbian studies, Studies of privacy and family life etc.); research findings can be used in life learning courses offered by faculties for experts in different fields (health, education, social work, nongovernmental organizations etc.) and other interested public.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2013, 2014, 2015, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2013, 2014, 2015, final report
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