Friday, 04 March 2011
Now that we have your attention, let me explain this post's title...
Thanks to television, we now know (sometimes in too-graphic, video detail) the sexual habits of people we'd rather not (ie. any man or woman on The Bachelor or Jersey Shore). But thanks to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics, we're now finding out about how often regular people like you and me get busy.
According to researchers, the results were somewhat surprising.
Between 2006 and 2008, the survey polled almost 13,500 Americans who were anywhere from 15 to 44-years-old. Usually how surveys are given to interviewees isn't anything spectacular or worth talking about, but the way researchers gathered information for this one was kind of interesting. Female interviewers met individually with selected participants. The participants used a computer to either view the questions on the screen or hear the questions, played from a recording of a female University of Michigan employee, through headphones. Using technology helps researchers get better and more complete answers to the questions because participants could type their responses to questions some would view as personal and sensitive, instead of speaking them. MSNBC.com reported the audio asked "explicit" questions, including "Has a male ever put his penis in your rectum or butt — also known as anal sex?"
In case you don't feel like reading the entire 49-page report, we'll give you the juicy details:
- Almost all of the 25 to 44 year-old adults surveyed have had vaginal intercourse (98% of females and 97% of males).
- Oral sex is still pretty popular: 90% of guys and 89% of girls from the 25 to 44 group have had oral sex with an opposite-sex partner.
- Anal sex isn't as popular as vaginal: In the same age group, 36% of females and 44% of males said they've had anal sex with an opposite-sex partner.
- Ladies are more likely to do same-sex experimentation than guys...or they're more likely to admit it to researchers. Thirteen percent of women in the 25-44 age bracket said they've had contact with another woman, while 5.2% of men said they've had a sexual encounter with another guy.
- For the guys who have girl-on-girl fantasies, you might want to find a girl who participated in the survey: researchers found females across the board were "more than 50% as likely to have had a same sex experience as men of the same age."
- Seven percent of teen girls (15-19) who participated in the survey said they've had oral sex with an opposite-sex partner, but have never had vaginal intercourse. Nine percent of teen guys said the same thing.
One of the most surprising statistics researchers found was the increasing rate of virginity for the younger participants in the survey. In 2002, 22% of both 15-24-year-old males and females reported never having any kind of sex: vaginal, oral or anal. The newest study found more and more of the same age bracket are holding onto their V-Card: 27% of guys and 29% of girls in this year's report said they've never had any kind of sex.
No one's sure why more kids are reportedly abstaining, but the study's lead author said it could be many things. "It could be due to sex education, messages about abstinence or that it might hinge on the truthfulness of the respondents," Anjani Chandra said. Maybe it's shows like 16 and Pregnant or Teen Mom (both guilty pleasures of mine), because if I was 16 and seeing the pain of childbirth and the struggle most of the girls (and guys) faced raising a child while still being a kid themselves...it might make me think twice before jumping into bed with someone.
It hasn't been cool to be a virgin since Steve Carell played the video-game-loving, action-figure-collecting, chest-hair-free 40-year-old virgin on the big screen six years ago. It still remains to be seen whether or not chastity is truly making a comeback. Chandra warns people who read the survey might want to take the results with a grain of salt, saying “It’s what they’re telling us and we have to take it on faith."
Is virginity making a comeback or do you think the participants lied about their sexual history?