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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


BARBOSA, Regina Maria; KOYAMA, Mitti Ayako Hara  and  GRUPO DE ESTUDOS EM POPULACAO, SEXUALIDADE E AIDS. Sexual behavior and practices among men and women, Brazil 1998 and 2005. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.42, suppl.1, pp.21-33. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To compare basic findings from two studies on sexual behavior and practices among women and men and their associations with sociodemographic characteristics of this population. METHODS: Data analyzed were obtained by a questionnaire applied to a probabilistic sample comprised of 3,423 people in 1998, and 5,040 people in 2005, all aged between 16 and 65 years, and living in urban areas of Brazil. Comparative analyses were performed by sex and year of research, and according to sociodemographic variables, using Pearson's chi-square test. RESULTS: The number of sexual partners in the year that preceded the interview decreased from 29.5% to 23.1% among men. Variability in sexual behavior and practices according to age, level of education, marital status, religion and place of residence, in addition to specific characteristics based on sex, was observed. There was also an increase in the proportion of women who began their sexual life in the 16-to-19-year age group and had completed up to elementary school, or lived in Southern Brazil. Moreover, it was observed an increase of sexual activity reported by women in the last year, and a decrease among men over 55 years of age, Protestant/Pentecostal, or separated/widowed. The proportion of men with more than one sexual partner in the last year decreased among those aged between 25 and 44 years or who have completed up to high-school. There was an increase in oral sex practice reported by women who are over 35 years of age or live in Northern/Northeastern Brazil. CONCLUSIONS: Comparative analysis from 1998 to 2005 suggested a tendency towards differences between women and men decreasing. This probably results from a pattern of change characterized by an increase in the frequency of female behavior investigated and a decrease in the frequency of male behavior.

Keywords : Sexual Behavior; Gender and Health; Health Knowledge [Attitudes, Practice]; Population Studies in Public Health; Brazil; Cross-sectional studies.

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