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EU asks women about their sex lives

November 21st, 2007

“Women could be asked intimate details about their sex lives in a planned EU census”
(Express, 21 November 2007, p.2)

 “Become a virgin protest to foil EU”: Women are being told to claim they are virgins if intrusive census proposals are agreed by Brussels”
(Metro, 21 November 2007, p.2)

“Have EU had a lot of love”? A census demanding details about women’s sexual partners is being voted on by MEPs today.”
(The Daily Mirror, 21 November 2007, p.31)

“MEPs scotch Brussels census plan”
Daily Telegraph,Financial Times, 22 November 2007)

The Commission proposal contains no questions related to sexual behaviour, and does not ask women to report on “how many live-in partners they had had”. The purpose of the proposal for a regulation is to make the results of the population and housing censuses in the European Union more comparable. The question on whether a women lives in a marriage or a “consensual union” (an unmarried partnership) was not intended to obtain information on her sexual behaviour. The intention was to have aggregated data that could shed some light on the living and family circumstances of women in general, at a time when unmarried partnerships have become more and more prevalent. In the countries of today’s EU, one out of twenty newborn children were born outside marriage in 1960; in 2005 this ratio stood at one out of every three children. This is why topics related to the living arrangements of persons have become established within demographic and social studies.

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Please note that all statements in all entries were correct on the date of publication given. However, older archived posts are not systematically updated in the light of later developments, for example changes to EU law.

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