National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles

In partnership with colleagues at the National Centre for Social Research and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, staff at the Centre have led the three National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles ('Natsal') in 1990, 2000, and 2010. The Natsal surveys are stratified probability sample surveys of the general population, resident in Britain. The first Natsal survey, conducted 1990-1991, was one of the largest of its kind internationally. 18,876 men and women aged 16-59 years were interviewed for 'Natsal-1’ . It was supported by a grant from the Wellcome Trust. Results from the first Natsal were published in the widely cited book 'Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles' by Anne Johnson, Jane Wadsworth, Kaye Wellings and Julia Field (Blackwell, Oxford, 1994).

A second Natsal survey was conducted in 1999-2001 ('Natsal-2’). 11,161 people aged 16-44 years were interviewed as a 'core' sample, and an additional 949 people of Black African, Black Caribbean, Indian, and Pakistani ethnicity interviewed as part of an ethnic minority boost sample. Half of the second Natsal survey's core sample also participated in urine testing for Chlamydia Trachomatis. The second survey was supported by a grant from the Medical Research Council with funds from the Department of Health, the Scottish Executive, and the National Assembly for Wales.

The third Natsal survey (‘Natsal-3') was conducted in 2010-2012. More than 15,000 people aged 16-74 years were interviewed. The third survey is supported by a grant from the Medical Research Council and The Wellcome Trust with additional funding  from the Department of Health, the Economic and Social Research Council.

Initial results from Natsal-2 were published in the Lancet in 2001, followed by a large number of peer-reviewed articles and reports..

The Natsal surveys have proved to be major reference sources for research into sexual behaviour, and have been used for a number of purposes, including:

- Informing future estimates and projections of HIV prevalence and AIDS incidence 
- Measuring changes in behaviour over time 
- Planning appropriate sexual health services and health promotion strategies 
- Improving our understanding of STI epidemiology

Click here for a list of these publications, plus also the publications containing results from the first survey, Natsal 1990. 

The first from Natsal-3 will be published in 2013.

For more information about Natsal and the latest publications please visit the study website www.natsal.ac.uk

Page last modified on 19 mar 15 11:50