Icelanders are among the least likely of western Europeans to use condoms, but Scandinavians as a whole comprise the bottom of the list.
As reported previously, Icelanders generally have a low incidence of condom use, attributed in part to their cost, and to what Sigurlaug Hauksdóttir at the Icelandic Directorate of Health called the tendency for Icelanders to start having sex at a young age, explaining, “When kids start having sex very young, they are very vulnerable. It’s harder to assert themselves, say no and insist on using a condom.”
RÚV now reports that when compared to other western Europeans, Icelanders are among the least likely to use condoms.
The survey, conducted by the University of Akureyri, compiled data from young people across 40 countries in the years 2009 and 2010. 64% of Icelandic girls and 81% of Icelandic boys said they used a condom the last time they had sex. Only Swedes are less likely to use condoms, the survey found, while Estonians are the most likely, with 92% having reported using them during the last sexual encounter. Norwegians and Finns were almost as unlikely to use condoms as Icelanders. In most countries, condom use among young people has increased slightly; in Iceland, it is at a stand-still.
Ársæll Arnarsson, a psychologist at the University of Akureyri, said that condom use was directly connected to the young person’s self-confidence. Those who did not use condoms were more likely to engage in risky sex, to start having sex early, to have multiple sexual partners and to have sex under the influence of drugs.