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Sexuality - Statistics & Facts

Sexuality describes sexual feelings, behaviors, and thoughts that we have towards ourselves and others. Sexuality plays a large role in our lives. Yet, talking about sex, sexuality, and relationships can be difficult and uncomfortable, as sexuality and sexual pleasure are still considered to be a taboo. There are many reasons why sexuality is perceived in this way in our society, which can be analyzed under a cultural, philosophical, and psychological perspective. Nevertheless, talking about sex and sexuality generally improves people’s sexual relations.

Information is key for sexual health

Talking about sex and sexuality might not only improve our sex life but also our health. Sexual health is defined by the World Health Organization as a state of physical, mental, and social well-being related to sexuality. In this matter, information and communication about sexual health can prevent, among other things, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or unwanted pregnancies. Worldwide, the contraceptive prevalence rate stood at about 63 percent in 2018, with the lowest rate found in Africa. Africa has a very high rates of STDs, such as congenital syphilis, cervical cancer (due to HPV), and HIV.

Sexual orientation and identity

While sexual identity refers to an individual’s understanding of themselves, sexual orientation describes sexual, romantic, or emotional attraction towards another. Sexual orientation generally includes heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, pansexuality, or asexuality. Worldwide, discrimination based on sexual orientation and identity is still a serious concern. Many countries still hold discriminatory attitudes towards homosexuality. Worldwide, acceptance of the LGBT community is highest in Western Europe, Canada, and Australia. Despite a general increase in the level of acceptance, homosexual activity remains criminalized in 71 countries.

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