World J Mens Health.  2021 Apr;39(2):366-375. 10.5534/wjmh.190137.

Analysis of Sexual Behaviors among Adults in Korea: Results from the “Korean National Survey on Sexual Consciousness”

  • 1Department of Urology, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Preventive Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Urology, School of Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea.


This study aimed to understand the characteristics of sexual behaviors among Korean adults to facilitate the development of strategies and policies focused on sexual health in groups categorized by sociodemographic characteristics.
Materials and Methods
A nationally representative probability sample of 2,500 individuals (1,273 men and 1,227 women) aged 18–69 years obtained using a stratified multiple-stage sampling method based on Statistics Korea (KOSTAT) participated in a cross-sectional online survey. The survey consisted of structured questionnaires comprising questions on demographic information, lifetime sexual behavior, and sexual behavior in the previous 12 months.
The mean age at first sexual intercourse was lower in men than in women (21.9±4.4 vs. 24.1±4.4 years, p=0.001). The overall prevalence rate of sexual events with casual partners within previous 12 months was 13.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 11.6%–14.5%). It was found to more commonly exist among lower age groups and men. The overall regular condom use rates with relationship partner and casual partner were 14.8% (95% CI, 13.2%–16.4%) and 39.6% (95% CI, 33.9%–45.3%), respectively. Condom use rate with casual partners among 20s and 30s men was 51.2%. Overall, only 10.4% of the respondents had received sexual education about sexually transmitted infections.
This study provided contemporary sexual behaviors in Korean adults, and identified socio-demographic factors that seem to influence sexual behaviors. Low condom use rates and low rate of receiving sexual education were concerns. The result of this study would be useful to health professionals to formulate policies and strategies related to sexual health.


Adults; Probability sample; Sexual behavior; Sexual health; South Korea
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