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Sexual Health, Relationships, Behaviours, Analysis, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Education.


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The ISSHR was commissioned by the Department of Health and Children and the Crisis Pregnancy Agency in response to a recommendation by the National AIDS Strategy Committee. It is the largest nationally representative study on sexual knowledge, attitudes and behaviour ever undertaken in Ireland.

International evidence indicates that aspects of sexual health, such as contraception, crisis pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, should be examined jointly. To this end, the Crisis Pregnancy Agency and the Department of Health and Children instigated the ISSHR project.

The ISSHR findings have been outlined in a suite of reports – the Main Report, a Summary Report and three sub-reports; the latter provide detailed information in defined areas of interest. This, the third sub-report, focuses on the patterning of sexual knowledge and attitudes of people in Ireland and how these affect behaviour.

The Crisis Pregnancy Agency (CPA) and the sexual-health sector in general need robust evidence in order to develop sexual-health policies, to plan strategies and to inform the effective promotion of sexual-health messages. The ISSHR findings will be invaluable not only to the work of the CPA in preventing crisis pregnancy, but also to that of other organisations concerned with promoting sexual health, providing sexual-health services, preventing sexually transmitted infections, and providing sex education for young people.




Cousins G. Layte R, McGee H. The Irish Study of Sexual Health and Relationships Sub-Report 3: Sexual Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviours - A Further Analysis. Dublin: Cirsis Pregnancy Agency and the Department of Health and Children, 2008.

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