Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Friday 11th April 2008-Launch of Sub-Reports of the Irish Study of Sexual Health and Relationships

11 April 2008

The Crisis Pregnancy Agency and the Department of Health and Children released the findings of three Irish Study of Sexual Health and Relationships (ISSHR) sub-reports today. The study was led by Professor Hannah McGee in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and Professor Richard Layte in the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). Ms Kay Rundle and Ms Grainne Cousins, researchers at the Division of Population Health Sciences, RCSI, led on two of the sub-reports.

Pictured at the launch of the Irish Study of Sexual Health and Relationships Sub-Reports are Dr. Nazih Eldin, HSE; Ms. Caroline Spillane, Crisis Pregnancy Agency; Dr. Stephanie O’Keeffe, Crisis Pregnancy Agency; Professor Hannah McGee, RCSI; Ms. Olive McGovern, Department of Health and Children; Professor Richard Layte, ESRI.

The main ISSHR report was released in November 2006.  It is the largest survey on sexual knowledge, attitudes and behaviour in Ireland, with a sample of 7,331 adults (aged 18-64) being interviewed. 

The three ISSHR Sub-Reports provide in-depth analyses of the nationally representative survey published in 2006. The sub-reports are entitled:

        Learning about sex and first sexual experiences

        Sexual health challenges and related service provision

        Sexual knowledge, attitudes and behaviours

The launch today of the new reports, at the Conference Centre, Croke Park, was to a specialist audience and was accompanied by principal investigator presentations and themed workshops focusing on: ‘Promoting Sexual Understanding and Safety for Life Among Young People’ and ‘Designing Sexual Health Services for Proactive Sexual Health’.

The sub-report analyses will be of particular benefit to agencies working on sexual health information resources for young people. This includes the HSE, working with the Crisis Pregnancy Agency and the Department of Education and Science, on a Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) Pack, to assist teachers in the delivery of RSE to 5th and 6th year schoolchildren.

The Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney T.D., welcomed the launch of the reports: “The Irish Study of Sexual Health and Relationships is an important study.  I know that the main report has been of practical assistance to the Crisis Pregnancy Agency, and I expect that people working in sexual health will find the sub-reports very insightful and useful to them in their daily work”.

Professor Hannah McGee reiterated the importance of an Irish evidence base in such a sensitive research area: “the College’s Division of Population health Sciences are very pleased to continue our research focus on sexual health issues and to be supported to deliver nationally representative research to inform policy and practice in such a core aspect of individual and societal health and well-being.”

For a copy of the ISSHR reports visit and click research.