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Two studies show: Many vacationers have sex abroad, unfortunately often without a condom
What do we like to do best when we are on vacation? Sunbathe, relax, swim and let's have a really good time. But researchers have now found that sex is also high on the holiday list. People traveling alone are always looking for a sensual adventure abroad. This naturally increases the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
Certainly there are some countries in the world that are known for their so-called sex tourism. People who travel to these regions of the world often do so for a special reason. However, scientists have now found in studies that many people are generally on vacation in search of acquaintances. Of course, it's usually not just about getting to know each other and having nice conversations. And so the risk of some communicable diseases increases. There are two interesting studies on this topic that have recently been published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
9.2 percent of men and 5.3 percent of women had sex on vacation
Vacation flirts are the stuff many romantic films are made of. But what is it really like when we go on vacation? Are many people looking for a little adventure on their vacation? Researchers have now analyzed the results of two studies dealing with sexually transmitted diseases. The first study examined 12,530 people. These had taken part in the so-called British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyle. The subjects were all between 16 and 74 years old. All participants reported that they had had at least one sexual partner in recent years, the researchers say. From this group, 9.2 percent of men and 5.3 percent of women said that they had met one or more sexual partners outside of England, explains co-author Clare Tanton. There was a lot of so-called disassortative sexual mixing in this group. That means intermingling across nationalities.
72 percent of the men had erotic contact with partners from other countries
A total of 72 percent of the men surveyed stated that they had not spent their dates abroad with residents of Great Britain. In the case of female subjects, 58 percent said the same thing. Interestingly enough, men were less likely than Middle women to have a partner from the Middle East (2.4 percent for men versus 5.7 percent for women), the doctors explain. The appointments on vacation were of course not just about nice conversations or romantic cuddling. The study defined sex as vaginal, oral, or anal with someone of the opposite sex. There were also oral, anal (for men), or genital (for women) contact with a person of the same sex, the experts say
Outgoing holidaymakers were often intoxicated by drugs or alcohol
It was striking in the study that people who enjoyed erotic fun abroad were generally more sexually adventurous. Unfortunately, such adventurers did not always use condoms when they were having fun abroad. Compared to other vacationers, these people use contraceptives less to protect them, the researchers say. It was not really surprising that such people also suffered from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) more frequently. These adventurous subjects were also much more intoxicated during their vacation, either by drugs or alcohol, the scientists add.
More information on communicable diseases and protective measures for vacationers is required
Sex on vacation and when traveling to other countries leads to a very rapid spread of STI all over the world. The rate of sexual mixing suggests that populations with low rates of sexually transmitted infections are mostly vulnerable to proliferation, the experts say. For example, there are far more cases of chlamydia in the UK than anywhere else in Europe. If holidaymakers from Great Britain get to know someone abroad, the infection can use the holiday acquaintance as a kind of bridge to spread the infection to their own population. Of course, this is also possible in reverse. UK travelers become infected on vacation and then bring the disease back home. Holidaymakers should get more information about communicable diseases and protective measures if they plan to leave the country, the doctors say.
Backpackers are a good target group for safer sex education campaigns
A second study specifically looked at backpackers traveling in Thailand. More than a third of these vacationers without long-term partners or spouses had vaginal and / or anal intercourse on vacation with a new partner, the researchers say. A third of them admitted that they had not used condoms consistently. The British and Swedes were the least likely to use condoms to protect themselves. Germans had less unsafe sex than the British and Swedes, but did not always use a condom. Of course, the results cannot be generalized for all travelers, but backpackers seem to be a good target group for information campaigns, the experts add.
Always take condoms with you on vacation
From the data obtained, it can be concluded that around one in ten British men and one in twenty British women will have sex on their next vacation. British people generally seem to be very "sociable" with one another and with other nationalities on vacation. Generally, vacationers from all countries should take condoms with them on vacation, the authors advise, because you never know what will happen and it is always better to be prepared for everything. (as)