By John Jalsevac
MELBOURNE, Australia, March 19, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An extensive study of Australian attitudes towards sexuality and Australians’ sexual behaviour has revealed that younger generations of Australian women are obtaining abortions much less frequently then the previous generation.
Dr. Julia Shelley of Deakin University in Melbourne, one of members of the team of researchers conducting the study, told NEWS.com.au, “We’ve plotted a sudden decline in the abortion rate that is so low it harps right back to the time when abortion was illegal and rarely practiced.’‘
“That means that a young Australian woman these days is about as unlikely to have an abortion now as her grandmother was back in her day.’‘
The study, begun in 2005, involved 8,205 randomly selected Australians (4,124 females and 4,081 males) being interviewed about various issues related to sexual health and behaviour. “The main aim of the study is to follow a nationally representative group of Australians over their lifetime documenting both the natural history and patterns of health and relationships,” reads the official description of the study.
According to the study, less than 5 percent of women born in the 1980s have had an abortion, which is significantly less than the 14 percent of older women. Dr. Shelley pointed out that the peak time for women to obtain an abortion is between the ages of 20 and 25, indicating that the figure of 5 percent for women born in the 1980s is unlikely to climb much higher over time.
The researcher attributed the decline in the abortion rate to several factors, including an increased use of contraceptives and a change in attitude that favors giving birth to children in Australia. According to Shelley, Australia is presently experiencing an increase in birthrate.
However, Shelley was only willing to admit that women increasingly deciding not to abort, and instead to give birth to their children “may partially” explain the fall in abortion, instead putting most of the emphasis on an increased use of contraceptives, brought about thanks to an increase in sexually transmitted diseases.
“If women generally are now more willing to have babies if they fall pregnant then it may partially explain the fall in abortion among younger women,’’ she said.
However, she indicated “safe sex” practices are the primary reason for the decrease in abortion rates. “Widespread sexual education trailed the sexual revolution by some decades and I think the effect of that only more recently cut in and change practices,’’ she said.
“But probably more significantly, the occurrence of HIV and AIDS has vastly increased condom use which has the side effect of stopping unwanted pregnancies.’‘
The study also indicated that an extremely small fraction of the Australian population self-defines as “homosexual.” Only .66 percent of women and 1.03 percent of men defined themselves as homosexual. This figure is well below the “statistic” of 10 percent that is often touted by homosexual activists. The extremely low percentage of homosexuals in the population agrees with the findings of other similar studies in Western countries.
Besides those who self-defined as homosexual, another 1.26 percent of women and 1.23 percent of men defined themselves as bi-sexual.
However, the study also found that Australians have extremely liberal attitudes towards sex and marriage, with 86 percent of women and 88 percent of men agreeing that sex before marriage is acceptable.