Sweden isn’t just good at helping parents care for their babies, as demonstrated by its generous parental-leave policies.
A local Swedish official also wants to help people create those babies.
Per-Erik Muskos, a councilman from the small town of Övertorneå, has announced plans to give the municipality’s 550 employees paid time off to have sex.
“There are studies that show sex is healthy,” Muskos told AFP, adding that couples in Sweden weren’t spending enough time together. “It’s about having better relationships.”
As in many developed countries, Sweden’s fertility rate has been gradually falling for the past several decades. In 1960, according to World Bank data, Swedish women had an average of 2.2 children — a rate scholars call “replacement fertility,” as it tends to keep the population steady. But by 2014 the rate had fallen to 1.9 children per woman.
Övertorneå’s population has been dwindling for at least the past decade. Municipality data shows the population in 2005 was 5,229. Ten years later it was 4,711.
Muskos’ plan for paid sex breaks, however, is really just a proposal to amend an existing work break given to employees for fitness and exercise. Employees already get one paid hour off each week to work out; Muskos is suggesting they should also be allowed to go home and have sex during that time. He said sex was often a form of exercise “and has documented positive effects on well-being,” though employees could, of course, abuse the benefit and just work one hour less.