Sexual and reproductive health of young people in Greece: knowledge, attitudes, practices and sexual health profile of 249 individuals
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LaHeRS Lab, Social Work Department, Hellenic Mediterranean University, Greece
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1097
In Europe 25% of adolescents aged 15 are sexually active. The current study aimed at assessing knowledge, attitudes, practices and sexual and reproductive health profiles of young people in a large city of Greece.

A study was conducted in 2019 among a convenient sample of 249 individuals aged 18-30 years, living in Heraklion, Greece. The questionnaire was anonymous and was based on “Illustrative Questionnaire for interview surveys with young people”(WHO) and “Questionnaire on Gender Relations and Sexuality” (Cyprus Institute of Reproductive Medicine).

The average age of participants was 22.2 years (SD=3.5) and the majority were female (69.5%) living in urban areas (85.2%). Out of a total of nine knowledge items, the maximum correct answers per individual was five (e.g. “HPVs cause warts on ovaries” (17.0%); “fungi are likely to cause infertility” (26.9%); “high likelihood of pregnancy when sexual intercourse takes place 14 days before the expected period” (n = 102, 48.4%), etc). Although participants considered “medical doctor” as the most important source of information on sexual issues (41.0%), most sought advice from “friends” (38.1%) or “the web” (21.9%). The mean age of first sexual intercourse was 16.8 years (SD3.0). Participants stated that “often” (8.3%) or “occasionally” (4.6%) have sex with people of same sex and 44.9% stated watching sexual explicit material on the web. Condom use was “very often” to “always” reported by 78.0% and “rare” to “never” by 18.3%. A total of 10.8% “had STD in the past” and 52.2% were aware of a girl under 18 years who experienced unwanted pregnancy, with the average age of abortion be at 16.7 years.

The study identified utilization of unreliable information sources, high misinformation and risky sexual practices among participants. There is a need to increase knowledge, skills and critical thinking through comprehensive sex education in schools.