Thursday, 15 October 2009

Independent: Sex and relationships very high on university students’ agendas

15.10.9 by Annaliza Borg

University students agree on the introduction of divorce, cohabitation, condom machines on campus, same sex marriages and the legalisation of the morning-after pill, a survey compiled by MOVE, a progressive students' organisation, concluded.

The majority of students on campus, however, oppose abortion and its introduction in Malta.

MOVE believes that students' views and opinions are not well represented in social dialogue. It therefore seeks to encourage more debates among students on political and social issues. A random sample of 395 Maltese university students of different ages and course years was taken.

The long drawn-out issue of having condom machines installed on campus grounds was brought up and 70.6 per cent of students think these are necessary. Nonetheless, 18.2 per cent are against their introduction and 11.1 per cent are undecided.

Again, the absolute majority, 69.9 per cent, believe that cohabitation should be recognised by the law. Only 13.4 disagree while 16.7 are undecided.

When questioned about the introduction of divorce, 54.9 per cent of students expressed their agreement. 32.7 per cent are against it while 12.4 per cent are undecided.

Not as many students agree with the legalisation of the morning-after pill and, while 49.1 per cent of students are in favour of the matter, 35.9 per cent oppose it, and 14.9 per cent are undecided.

Slightly less than 50 per cent of respondents agree that gays and lesbians should be given the right to marry. Meanwhile, 35.2 per cent are against same sex marriages and 16.2 per cent are undecided.

The vast majority of university students – 78.7 per cent – is against the introduction of abortion in Malta. Only 14.4 per cent are in favour of its introduction while 6.8 per cent are undecided.

Little statistical difference was observed between males and females. However, more males are opposed to the introduction of same sex marriages. There is no difference depending on the students’ course year and their opinion.

MOVE said that the data collected may not reflect its views and beliefs, yet these opinions will serve as a platform for the necessary discussion on campus.

The survey was conducted by Vincent Marmara, president of the Malta Statistics and Operational Research Organisation (MSTOR).

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