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The Velux Foundation grants nearly 5 million kroner to a project on improving communication to enhance sexual health and equality

"Let's talk about sex, baby" Salt-N-Peppa once sang, but doing so might not be as easy as we think. In Denmark, we pride ourselves on living in a society characterised by sexual equality, open-mindedness and access to knowledge. However, recent research raises doubts about sexual health in Denmark. Knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours related to sexuality are reflected in and shaped by communication. The project addresses ignorance and inequality regarding sexual health in Denmark from a communicative perspective.

By Caroline Zoffmann Jessen, , 6/28/2023

Associate Professor Nina Nørgaard from the Department of Language, Culture, History, and Communication has received a grant from the Velux Foundation for the project “Ignorance and Inequality in Sexual Health – addressed from a Multimodal Communicative Perspective.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), good-quality information is crucial to achieving sexual health. In Denmark, recent reports by the Danish Family Planning Association show ignorance and uncertainty among adolescents about e.g., contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, and consent. Additionally, the topic of sex in late life is surrounded by misconceptions and taboo. Since communication plays a significant role in our knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours, it is important to examine how sexual health issues are communicated in public information and in society at large.

The aim of the project is to investigate how sexual health issues are communicated about, for, and by young people (from puberty to young adulthood) and older people (from midlife) in public health information materials and in their own online communication.

The project analyses both the linguistic and visual dimensions of information materials, websites, and social media. The aim is to gain insights into how organisations, health communication practitioners, and the wider Danish public communicate about sex, gender, diversity, contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, consent, and menopause. The project aims to lay a foundation for clear communication that can promote knowledge and break down taboos and barriers to equality in sexual health in Denmark.

The project will be carried out in collaboration with Alexandra Holsting, Cindie Aaen Maagaard and Theo van Leeuwen from the Department of Language, Culture, History and Communication.

Meet the researcher

Associate Professor Nina Nørgaard is a researcher at The Department of Language, Culture, History and Communication.


Meet the researcher

Professor Charlotte Overgaard is a researcher at Department of Public Health


Editing was completed: 28.06.2023