About this study
The National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal) is the largest scientific study of sexual behaviour since the pioneering studies of Alfred Kinsey in the US in the 1940s and 1950s.
Natsal was originally set up because of an urgent need for information about sexual lifestyles in the context of the HIV/ AIDS epidemic.
Natsal first took place in 1990, with the second study taking place in 2000. The third Natsal began in 2010 and its results will be published in 2013 (you can read more on the history of Natsal in our FAQs).
In the mid-1980s, little was known about the sexual attitudes and lifestyles of people in Britain. Relatively small scale surveys and qualitative studies with particular groups had been carried out, but there were no national data available on how sexual lifestyles had changed through the 20th century. To date, Natsal results have been widely used by the NHS, and academic and scientific researchers.
After a two year data collection period, statistics from the study will be published in 2013 in reputable medical and academic journals.
Potential policy impact
Natsal 2010-2012 will interview 15,000 men and women aged between 16 and 74. Find out more about taking part.
How we're working
The Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust have given funding to a collaboration of researchers from NatCen (NatCen Social Research), University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to design and conduct Natsal 2010-2012.