Let's Talk About Sex Surveys!
The first nine papers by the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB) are out!
Okay, it doesn’t sound exciting, but that’s only because you don’t know what’s in them. In a special issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, the NSSHB reveals findings from the biggest national study of sexual and sexual behavior ever. Interested yet?
The survey was administered by researchers at Indiana University’s School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, specifically at the Center for Sexual Health Promotion. The study covered a wide range of topics and surveyed an even wider range of people, covering for example, the “condom-use behaviors of 5,865 adolescents and adults ages 14-94.” That’s a lot of sex, people.
This study is more than just merely interesting, as it guides health professionals trying to mitigate issues like STDs/STIs, accidental pregnancies, HIV, and other sex-related social problems.
Condom usage was one of the study’s main focuses. According to the results, 1 in 4 acts of vaginal intercourse incorporated condom protection with a higher rate among singles at 1 in 3 acts. Researchers note that condom use seems to already be going up for some groups (yay!), but we should continue to encourage the public to use them. Furthermore, the survey found that adults using a condom during intercourse were just as likely to have a positive experience in terms of arousal, pleasure, and orgasm than adults not using a condom. So there you have it kids, no excuse to not protect yourself!
Interestingly enough, the study showed that condoms are twice as likely to be used between casual sex partners rather than partners in a relationship, a trend that maintains itself across a 50-year age span. Furthermore, condom use showed to be higher among black and Hispanic Americans than for white Americans and other racial groups.
Lots of people across the age spectrum are having having sex—and they’re having interesting sex. Get excited,y’all, you have decades of spicy love-making ahead! There is incredible variety in the bedrooms of U.S. adults, with over 40 combinations of sexual activity described at adults’ most recent sexual events. The survey results indicate that adults rarely engage in one sex act when they do the dirty—while vaginal intercourse is the standard, many instances of sex include masturbation and oral sex.
The study also found it important to survey adolescents, as American teens are becoming sexually active earlier than ever. Despite how many of you (and your parents) might be weary of the results for that age group, the study’s results show that partnered sexual behaviors (as opposed to masturbatory behaviors) are important to teens, but not an overwhelmingly prioritized part of their lives. Furthermore, teen sex is often safe, condom-protected sex—and that’s not including the many teens who simply abstain.
The survey even touched on (ha ha) the most mysterious and illusive sexual topic of them all: the female orgasm. Get psyched, ANNA readers! Firstly, men are more likely to orgasm when sex includes vaginal intercourse, while women are more likely to orgasm when they engage in multiple different sex acts.
Even more fascinating, while 85% of men report that their partner orgasmed the last time they fooled around, only 64% of women report actually having had an orgasm at their last sexual event.
While a bit of that difference can be chalked up to men having same-sex encounters and reporting on each other, it’s statistically too large a difference for same-sex activity to be the only reason for it (about 7% of adult women and 8% of adult men identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, though the number of people who have had same-gender interactions is higher).
Do the math, everyone. And hooray for safe sex!
Feature photo VIA Pexels.