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The evolution of the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles: Theoretical, conceptual, and methodological advances

The first National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-1) was conducted in Britain in 1990. It has since been carried out every 10 years and so far, there have been three surveys in which more than 45,000 people have been interviewed, making it one of the largest and most detailed scientific studies of sexual behaviour in the world. Over its 30-year history, the survey has evolved in both scope and methodology, and the disciplines represented within the team have expanded.  

In this lecture, Wendy will explore the evolution of Natsal under three main themes.  The first theme concerns advances in theoretical perspectives regarding human sexuality and the fundamental question of whether, and to what extent, sexual behaviour is innate and fixed by our biology or is acquired and socially learned.  The second theme centres on conceptual factors and, in particular, the emergence of sexual health as a concept relevant to public health, and within that the transition from a focus on sexual ill-health to sexual well-being.  The third theme relates to questions of methodology and the tools we use to try and measure and understand sexuality and advance sexual health, specifically the shift from single disciplinary perspectives to multi-disciplinarity. 

Speaker: Wendy Macdowall (LSHTM) 

 

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