Planning a global study on sexual health-related practices and behaviours 


  • Lianne Gonsalves

    World Health Organization

Project summary

Sex and sexuality are integral parts of being human, and sexual health and wellbeing is an integral part of overall health and wellbeing. However, the behaviours and practices associated with sex and sexuality are almost universally sensitive subjects. A global survey of sexual health-related practices and behaviours would provide needed information that: challenge gender and social norms around sex; decouple sexual practices from certain populations; and ensure that health systems are informed to provide adequate, quality information and relevant sexual health services. A rigorous global study of this nature has never been undertaken due to a substantial number of political, social, methodological and financial obstacles. 

We will bring together sexual health experts from around the world and innovative researchers to brainstorm the feasibility of conducting a global study of sexual practices and behaviours. There will be a session to identify and describe both comparable and regionally-distinct understandings of sexual behaviour, vulnerabilities and needs, and a session to define a financially feasible, robust methodology for the assessment. 

If the global study of sexual practices and behaviours is deemed feasible, the study will roll out in subsequent stages.