People appear to be more concerned with their sexual health on Mondays than any other day of the week, a new Danish study suggests.
The results show visits to a website providing information about sexually transmitted diseases peak on Mondays. The researchers said they suspect the phenomenon is due to sudden worry about contracting and STD after a particularly raucous weekend. People have unprotected sex more frequently on Fridays and Saturdays, they said. Although people may be immediately concerned that they have contracted an STD, they appear to delay acting on this worry until the workweek. This may be because they want to "sleep on" their decision to seek health care until Monday, the researchers said. Previous research has shown that the number of phone calls to an AIDS/STD hotline in Denmark was highest on Mondays. Because this hotline is closed on Saturdays and Sundays, the researchers assumed the Monday peak was due to an accumulation of concerns over the weekend. But that seems not to be the case — the website examined in the new study is accessible at any time. The researchers, from Maastricht University in The Netherlands, kept track of the number of visits to a Danish website called SOATEST, which educates visitors on whether they may want to seek STD testing based on their sexual behavior. The researchers hypothesized site visits would spike on the weekend. They examined visits over a two-month period, between April and June of this year. "A remarkable finding — given that the website is accessible 24/7 — is that the number of visitors per day still peaks each Monday," the researchers wrote. The only exception was Monday, April 25, which was a Dutch holiday; that week, visits peaked on Tuesday. Since quick action is important when someone contracts an STD, future research should focus on the reasons why people delay accessing online sexual health information, the researchers said. In addition, other types of counseling services, including telephone hotlines, should take this "weekend effect" into account and increase their capacity on Mondays, the researchers said. The study will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. Pass it on: People are more inclined to seek out sexual health counseling services on Mondays.
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Rachael is a Live Science contributor, and was a former channel editor and senior writer for Live Science between 2010 and 2022. She has a master's degree in journalism from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. She also holds a B.S. in molecular biology and an M.S. in biology from the University of California, San Diego. Her work has appeared in Scienceline, The Washington Post and Scientific American.