The National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles – ‘Natsal’ – are among the largest surveys of sexual behaviour in the world. Natsal was first run in 1990 and has taken place every 10 years since. The surveys use a probability sampling method to randomly select people from across Britain to take part, which means that the results are broadly representative of the British general population. So far, over 45,000 people have taken part in Natsal. To find out more on the sampling method used, click here. The surveys are administered by an interviewer face-to-face in the participant’s home. It is a computer-assisted interview, with self-completion sections used for more sensitive topics.
The consistent methodology and repetition of the surveys have made it possible to look at differences in sexual behaviours over time.
Three Natsal surveys have taken place: Natsal-1 in 1990-1991, Natsal-2 in 1999-2001, and Natsal-3 in 2010-2012 and the development of Natsal-4 started in May this year.
The project is being managed by a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from University College London (UCL), the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the University of Glasgow and NatCen Social Research (NatCen).
The Natsal Resource (including Natsal-4) is supported by a grant from the Wellcome Trust with contributions from the Economic and Social Research Council and the National Institute of Health Research.
For more information please visit Natal’s website here.