In light of the recent turn of the year, it’s time for reviews, statistics and top ten lists of everything. I will join the club.
Among other things, Iceland appeared on two different lists in 2012 and the country’s ranking surprised me, or at least made me shake my head.
In May 2012, I read that Icelanders were among the least likely to use condoms. According to a survey by the University of Akureyri, 64 percent of Icelandic girls and 81 percent of Icelandic boys claimed that they used a condom the last time they had sex.
Actually, that didn’t come as a surprise. I heard about this sad fact for the first time soon after arriving in Iceland in 2006. Since then I’ve overheard many conversations where young guys bragged about how some girl let them sleep with them without protection.
One former co-worker of mine, a young Icelander of 19 years, was particularly proud of himself for bedding three different girls on one weekend without using condoms. “Do you want a baby or HIV?” I asked him. He looked at me as if I had lost my mind. I think it is obvious which one of us had lost their mind.
Anyhow, this tendency is not only silly but also very dangerous. Sexually transmitted diseases are certainly not uncommon. Chlamydia, for example, is widespread among Icelanders, an unpleasant and delicate fact. Fellow Iceland Review writer Nanna Árnadóttir found some clear words about that topic in her column for The Reykjavík Grapevine.
Not to mention that Iceland has one of the highest birth rates in the Western world, this might be another result of the dislike of condoms. And for those who claim condoms are too pricy in Iceland, a newly introduced amendment to the law will result in the tax on condoms being lowered, making them more affordable, yay!
This a good thing and will hopefully motivate some silly idiots out there to fork out the money for a pack of condoms. Funny enough that the same law also includes the lowering of taxes on reusable diapers.
Another interesting fact I learnt about Iceland was that my adopted home ranks 15th in gun ownership worldwide. I did not see that coming!
In Iceland, about 30 percent of the population owns firearms, around 90,000. These firearms are almost all shot guns and hunting rifles as hunting is a popular sport in Iceland whereas handgun ownership is very low.
Luckily, semi-automatic rifles are banned. Looking at these numbers one might wonder about the number of gun related deaths here. Relax, Iceland is one of the most peaceful and safest places in the world. In 2009, for instance, victims of intentional homicide numbered one, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNOD). In 2006 and 2008, there was not a single homicide in Iceland.
In my opinion, private ownership of handguns is nothing but absolutely absurd, ludicrous and silly.
On that note, be safe!
Katharina Hauptmann – email@example.com