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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Sexual knowledge, attitudes and activity of men conscripted into the military

Jiankang Chao12, Yenchin Lin2*, Michia Ma3, Yanchiou Ku4, Chinghong Tsai25 and Mingder Shi6

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Psychiatry, Yuli Veterans Hospital, HuaLien, Taiwan, R.O.C

2 Graduate School of Human Sexuality, Shu-Te University, Kaohsiung County, Taiwan, R.O.C

3 Department of Statistics, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, R.O.C

4 Department of Nursing, Kaohsiung General Veterans Hospital, Kaohsiung County, Taiwan, R.O.C

5 Department of Psychiatry, Military Kaohsiung General Hospital, Kaohsiung County, Taiwan, R.O.C

6 Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Yung-Kang Veterans Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan, R.O.C

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:577  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-577

Published: 27 September 2010



Military conscripts may experience a change in their attitude towards sex at times when sexual urges are at their peak during their physical growth. This study examines the experience, understanding, knowledge and attitudes regarding sexual activity of the military conscripts.


Data was obtained from a cross-sectional survey of 1127 young adult military conscripts, and were evaluated in Southern Taiwan from January to July 2009, their demographic data, sexual knowledge, attitudes and activities were assessed.


Nearly 43% of the participants had performed penetrative vaginal intercourse at least once; 34% of the participants performed heterosexual oral sex at least once; almost 7% of participants had had homosexual intercourse, and 7.5% of participants had experienced homosexual oral sex in the past year. The mean sexual knowledge score based on 30 questions was 23.2 ± 4.0. The higher the educational level of the participants, the greater sexual knowledge they had obtained.


This study found that 43% of unmarried young recruits had experienced premarital sexual activity. However, their sexual knowledge was insufficient and should be strengthened by sex education from an earlier age. College aged and adult learners also have sex education needs, especially with regard to integrating sexuality and life, being able to relate responsibly as sexual beings to others, the use of contraception, and about sexually transmitted disease.


Young recruits, Sexual behavior, Sexual knowledge, Sex education