Germany/Netherlands: Immigrants more sexually active

Germany/Netherlands: Immigrants more sexually active

Two recent studies in Germany and the Netherlands examined the sexual behavior of young people. Both found differences between the ethnic population and immigrants.

Another point: Almost 30% of the population sample in the German study were immigrants. Is that representative?

Via The Local:

Teens today may not be growing up too quickly after all. A new study on German youth sexuality revealed on Thursday that boys and girls are waiting longer to have sex and then having less of it than they were just five years ago.

Overall German teens are less sexually active than they were in 2005, according to the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) study.


Some 3,500 young people took part in the survey in 2009, among them about 1,000 teenagers with an immigrant background.

More boys from immigrant families were sexually active than their German counterparts (72 percent compared to 65 percent), though the numbers were still significantly lower than in 2005.

However, girls from immigrant families were more likely to wait for sex, with 53 percent of the 17-year-olds saying they were still too young. The number was down two percentage points from the 2005 survey and 13 points lower compared to their German counterparts.

Many teens named their own shyness and the lack of a proper partner as reasons for holding back.


A high proportion of German girls and boys (69 and 58 percent, respectively) said they had open conversations with their family about birth control. For children of immigrants this was less common, with half of girls and 41 percent of boys reporting such a conversation.

In the Netherlands (NL), a doctoral thesis by psychologist Hanneke de Graaf found that while most youth follow a certain path in their sexual 'career' (first kissing, caressing, then slowly advancing to actual sex), 25% skip one or more steps on the way. For example, they might have sex before their first kiss.

Highly educated and ethnic Dutch youth are more likely to advance step-by-step than non-Western immigrants and less educated youth.

Q: What does this group lack?

Hanneke de Graaf says that these youth probably know less what they want sexually and where their limits lie, and they're less capable of expressing that to their partner. Therefore they run the risk of doing things they don't want or need.

Hanneke de Graaf hadn't researched why relatively many less-educated and non-Western youth belong to this group, but she supposes that less-educated youth have less skills in general, and also in this field. De Graaf says that the background of immigrant youth probably plays a role, if sex is not spoken about at home, it's more difficult for the youth to know what they want and how to express it.