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A study of men who pay for sex, based on the Norwegian National Sex Surveys

[This study] estimates the prevalence, time trends and factors associated with paid sex among men. Methods: Norwegian Sex Surveys using similar questions in 1992, 1997 and 2002 were analyzed using a cohort analysis and logistic regression. The questionnaires included demographic background, and several aspects of sexual behaviour. The following questions on paid sex were included:

  • Have you ever paid for sexual services?
  • If yes, how many times?
  • How old were you the first time?
  • How old were you the last time?
  • Did you use a condom the last time?

Of the 4,545 men who answered this question, 585 (12.9%) reported ever having paid for sex. There was a marked decline overall in reporting from 26.2% in the cohort born in 1927—34, to 5.9% in the cohort born in 1975—84 (p < 0.001). However, there was an increase in the last cohort after the age of around 23 years (p = 0.1).

Having paid for sex was significantly associated with being single, being on a disability pension, early sexual debut and having multiple other sex partners; these men were less likely to use condoms when having sex with a cohabiting partner (p < 0.01) and more likely to have had a sexually transmitted infection (p < 0.001).

Having paid for sex is associated with high risk sexual behaviour and represents a public health problem. Preventive measures should address men’s behaviour across social groups and marital status and explore the trend among younger men

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Hein Stigum