The federal government’s latest survey on sexual behavior in the United States contains evidence for just about every theory, supposition, and hope that people hold about the secret world of Americans’ sex lives.
Most adults are monogamous. Lots of teenagers are having sex. Lots are also heeding abstinence messages. Oral sex may be a gateway – and for some teens also a stopping point – on the way to vaginal sex. Women have more same-sex liaisons than men. Or at least are more comfortable talking about them.
Those findings and more came from interviews with 13,495 men and women in the latest round of the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), conducted from 2006 to 2008 and released Thursday.
Among the notable findings were these:
In the 15 to 24 age group, 29 percent of females and 27 percent of males report never having had sexual contact with another person – higher percentages in both cases than in 2002, when the survey last conducted. In the older 25-44 age group, however, 98 percent of females and 97 percent of males report having had vaginal intercourse, with approximately 90 percent having oral sex as well. Slightly more than one-third (36 percent) of women and 44 percent of men report having had anal sex.