New Studies on Sexual Behavior

The National Health Statistics Report for 2006-2008 has just been released. You can get a copy HERE. The report is 49 pages. Here are the highlights for me.

Twice as many women reported any same-sex contact in their lifetimes compared with men (13% of women and 5.2% of men).

  • Among teenagers aged 15-19, 7% of females and 9% of males have had oral sex with an opposite-sex partner, but no vaginal intercourse.
  • Males 15-24 who had oral sex before intercourse – 49.8%
  • Females 15-24 who had oral sex before intercourse – 51.9%
  • Those 17 or younger who had oral sex before intercourse – 41.4. (18-19 years 56%,  20-24 years 70.1%)
  • 60.3% of females 15-17 have never had a sexual partner. Of those who have 19.1% have had only one partner 7.8% have had two partners.
  • 52.4% of males 15-17 have never had a sexual partner. Of those who have 20.4% have had only one partner 8.5% have had two partners.
  • 15-17 years females- 33% have had intercourse, 30.2% have had oral sex, 10.3% have had same sex sexual behavior.
  • 15-17 years males- 31.8% have had intercourse, 35% have had oral sex, 1.7% have had same sex sexual behavior.
  • Females 15-39 years old ranged between 10.3%-15.8% in the category of having same sex sexual behavior. The highest percentage was females between 20-24.
  • Males 15-44years old ranged between 1.73%-8.1% in the category of having same sex sexual behavior. The highest percentage was males between 40-44.

I am trying to digest all this information. I can’t help but to wonder what this means in my context. Are these numbers true of my 15-17 year olds, YIKES. Does this mean that 41% of our students are having oral sex and about a third are having sex?

The wide gap in numbers on same sex sexual behavior may be explained by the questions. The guys were asked 4 questions that measured if they are or a partner gave or received oral or anal sex. The girls were asked about oral or anal sex plus any sexual experiences. This could be left up to interpretation so my guess is the respondent could include kissing, touching, etc. whereas the guys were limited to oral or anal sexual acts.

Based on Christian Smith and Kenda Dean’s research how do we approach this subject with our students? Their work has been haunting me. Are my students moral therapeutic deist? How has my and their parents teaching on sex impacted this view? How do I teach on this in the future?

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