Study: Fewer teens, young adults say they're having sex
March 3rd, 2011
12:00 PM ET

Study: Fewer teens, young adults say they're having sex

A new government survey on the sexual behavior of Americans is out today with some revealing findings about what men and women in this country desire.  However you define sex - oral, vaginal, or something else - fewer teens and young adults are having it according to the latest statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Among 15 to 24 year olds, 27% of males and 29% of females had never had sexual contact with another person.  Only 22% of guys and gals that age reported being so virginal in 2002, when the last survey was conducted.

At the same time, white teens and young adults are more likely than black and Hispanic young people to start their sex lives having only oral sex.

Among whites aged 15-24, 57% say they had oral sex before ever having intercourse, as compared to 39% of black and Hispanic people their age.

"They may think they're doing something safer because they're having oral sex," says Anjani Chandra, a health scientist with the National Center for Health Statistics, which released today's report.  In reality, Chandra says, while such behavior certainly avoids the risk of pregnancy, it still puts young people at risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease.

The survey also examined same-sex relationships in America.  Twice as many women as men admit to having had a same-sex experience.  Among 15-44 year old women, 13% say they've had a sexual experience with a woman.  Only 5% of men in the same age group,  said they've been intimate with a man.

Another revelation from this survey: Women were three times more likely than men to say they are bisexual.

soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. dingdong

    if you are bi you get the best of both worlds!

    March 3, 2011 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dingdong

      spiderman, would it help that i am a woman? LOL

      March 3, 2011 at 14:18 | Report abuse |
    • Ding-Dongs Girlfriend

      Hey Sweetie...you didn't tell me you had a boyfriend too. What's up with that? Now I have to get one too

      March 3, 2011 at 15:04 | Report abuse |
    • SpiderMan's Woman

      Little does my Spiderman know, but I have a woman of my own too. Why limit yourself to steak when you can have surf n' turf? But don't tell him. Shhhh!

      March 3, 2011 at 15:07 | Report abuse |
    • peter

      @spiderman: dude, you are gay for sure.

      March 3, 2011 at 20:08 | Report abuse |
    • Spiderman's Woman's woman

      Hey sweets!! Call me later tonight when he goes to bed and we'll have to head out for a little late night snack. 😉

      March 3, 2011 at 20:35 | Report abuse |
  2. roydogsi


    March 3, 2011 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Doba

    The following is something of a type: "teans and young adults are more likely than black and hispanic young people ... " so when we refer to people without qualification we mean "white" people?

    March 3, 2011 at 14:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • firestar

      It's a typo. Ya hoo had the same article, and it was correctly written there.

      March 3, 2011 at 14:13 | Report abuse |
    • Zebula

      Apparently no one is immune from an occasional "type" [sic].

      March 3, 2011 at 14:59 | Report abuse |
  4. Frank

    From the looks of all the hookups at nightclubs you would think this article is COMPLETE BS.

    March 3, 2011 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bobsroad

      and thats how studies are done take observation of one person NOT

      March 3, 2011 at 15:47 | Report abuse |
  5. Frank

    From the looks of all the hookups at nightclubs you would think this article is COMPLETE BS. (not to mention Jersey shore)

    March 3, 2011 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Shut Up

    Quit being stupid Man. Americans Today Smh Pathetic! "^"^"

    March 3, 2011 at 14:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Matrix

    Well, for one it is not a significant drop. Two, it is a such a small population study. Three, there are a few easy explanations.
    A) Kids are fatter and less attractive than before
    B) P o r n on the internet gives boys an easy and safe outlet for their s3xual desires.
    It's interesting that this article says nothing about abstinence only education, which was discussed in the Fox News article about this. Abstinence only education is a waste of time and money, and it is a huge disservice to kids who need a real education about s3x and s3xuality

    March 3, 2011 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • anon

      "A) Kids are fatter and less attractive than before"

      I LoL'ed.

      March 3, 2011 at 21:16 | Report abuse |
    • DAISHI

      Real science based response here.

      March 4, 2011 at 07:26 | Report abuse |
    • M Greyson

      Maybe they're fatter & uglier where YOU live, but around here everyone keeps getting more and more gorgeous.

      March 4, 2011 at 08:18 | Report abuse |
  8. freetime1

    I blame this on all the stuff on TV. I mean if TV is responsible for everything it gets the blame for, why not this too lol.

    March 3, 2011 at 16:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. midori

    and it was necessary to pay for this study because?

    March 3, 2011 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • waterboardme

      your church demanded that you stop s3xing it up on Sundays cause their cauffers were depleted of $$, they need you and your wallets/purses to attend

      March 3, 2011 at 22:30 | Report abuse |
  10. Rick McDaniel

    What people say, and what people actually do, is often not one and the same.

    March 3, 2011 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Tommas

    While the hits on YouP rn go through the roof

    March 3, 2011 at 17:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Indeed

      Of course they won't mention that! they wouldn't want to put their favorite websites in jeopardy. it's the dark secret that the elite of the world have, they, like devils, watch us degenerate into hopeless wrecks from their comfortable place.

      March 3, 2011 at 19:49 | Report abuse |
  12. gene

    The author obviously hasn't visited a mexican neighborhood and watched the daily anchor parade, supported financially by Americans.

    March 3, 2011 at 17:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Question

    why does this study exist?

    March 3, 2011 at 19:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. hiawa23

    I don't buy it for a second especially black or hispanic youths which are replicating & fornicating like mad.

    March 3, 2011 at 19:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Emery

      I would take it to believe you are an ignorant racist with such a comment. Do you even know the statistics? I will assume you never read much. Yahoo updates won't cut it. Do your research...

      March 4, 2011 at 03:24 | Report abuse |
    • thierryjtaule

      i beleive that african americans especially in the city cant seem to keep their pants on.....especially latinos

      March 4, 2011 at 11:17 | Report abuse |
  15. DT

    Interesting article. I have a bone(r) to pick with it through. I've found that most people tend to not always be honest about their s3x lives...they either say they've had more partners when they haven't (I've done so myself plenty of times I'll admit!)...or they do the opposite. Kind of like in high school when they gave us these tests asking us to list what forms of drugs and alcohol we had tried. My friends I (who had only drank a little and smoked some pot) filled out EVERYTHING on the form...crystal meth? PCP? You betcha! Needless to say I'm sure there were some heated PTA meetings after that. 😛

    It ain't no one's business anyway. Be smart, be safe, use protection – try not to break any hearts and have fun. 😉

    March 3, 2011 at 20:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. mike

    Heh after just graduating with my bachelor's degree and seeing what i saw , i have a Really hard time believing that people gave accurate answers here, or that these numbers are accurately representative of kids in my age group..


    March 3, 2011 at 20:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. rick

    If these stats are true, things SURE have changed since I was a teenager. Grew up in an upper middle class predominently white neighborhood and the numbers above would be EXTREMELY low for that era. I wonder what a survey taken then would have indicated... against what was reality??

    March 3, 2011 at 21:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Jeff

    I hope the control group here was better than the diet soda drinkers survey. The control group turned out to have an average age of 69 with diabetes. Probably stimulus money taken at the Catholic school.

    March 3, 2011 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. steve

    no jobs!
    can't afford condoms and birth control pills
    so abstain!

    March 3, 2011 at 21:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Dave

    Yeah.. this and the American economy is improving.. two stories I believe in.. :/

    March 3, 2011 at 22:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. reddog

    Those who talk about it the most do it the least.

    March 3, 2011 at 22:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. kevin

    Do they actually think teens & young adults are going to tell the truth. ya, right.

    March 3, 2011 at 22:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. justice

    Young people, keep your virginity and sell it later with 2 million dollars. Don't waste your virginity on common losers. To your future life partner, your virginity is priceless. Live wisely.

    March 3, 2011 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Justina

      The above was me. I misspelled my user name. And no joke this time.
      Young people, honor your Creator God. Keep purity before marriage. Life is short. Fooling around with losers is not worth your life. If you let your natural inclination takes its course, your garden will be filled with weeds. Don't feed on trash believing it all but leave a room for life's mysteries as they unfold time-appropriately. Set a noble ideal and plan. Stick to good principles, doing your work, and find true character and true love later in the most beautiful, satisfying, blessed way. The oldest principle is the truest, after all.

      March 3, 2011 at 22:45 | Report abuse |
    • chris

      It's so true

      March 4, 2011 at 01:42 | Report abuse |
  24. omegarising

    Does any one take any of these surveys seriously any more?? No serious, do they? The only ones i can imagine that do are the same ones watching the infomercials late at night and believing the crap spewing out of the barkers mouth on screen..

    March 3, 2011 at 22:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. topalinedime

    i dont think they know what the hell they talking about cause i lil 13 and 14 olds pregnant at my son school. what you think about that one.?

    March 3, 2011 at 22:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wealthy

      I think you live in a trashy area, none of that at my son's school... Where the air is fresh.

      March 4, 2011 at 10:10 | Report abuse |
  26. Steve Vogel

    @hiawa23 And you know this how?

    March 4, 2011 at 01:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Christy

    Yeah, Right, You need to come to our town. 20 teens just got busted in a hotel party for having an orgie. I was in detention last week and seen no less than three blowjo b's in less than an hour.

    March 4, 2011 at 05:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kyle

      omg really what twon do you live in sounds wild maybe it happens here to and it just goes unseen

      May 21, 2011 at 10:57 | Report abuse |
  28. tessa

    And how many of these people are taking prescription drugs? Millions of Americans, many of them young, take antidepressants and other meds. These drugs are killing us. Soon babies will be manufactured in the lab and the need to procreate will no longer exist.

    March 4, 2011 at 08:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • saywhat

      i can see what you are saying till you said that we'll have to make our babies in a lab. there will always be pregnant woman. also, some people really need those drugs.

      March 4, 2011 at 10:00 | Report abuse |
  29. Whatthef

    Two statistical differences between comprehensive education and abstinence education.
    -Abstinence only groups have higher rates of STD's.
    -Abstinence only groups have higher rates of unplanned pregnancy.
    -Both groups have first experiences at roughly same average age (I think its about a 2 month difference) and both groups are also equal in frequency.

    March 4, 2011 at 10:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Justina

      Abstinence before marriage is still the best for all time, everywhere and for everyone. Americans should stop worshipping short-term results or statistics alone but look beyond, aiming to have a good character for a lifetime. Abstinence is about being the most honorable warrior. Good parents are needed.

      March 4, 2011 at 12:42 | Report abuse |
  30. Vera

    Alcohol increases one's risk of contracting breast cancer. Take a look at this article: http://www.breasthealthandhealing.com/media/archives/StabroekNewsCancerCampaign011210.html

    March 4, 2011 at 14:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Stinker

    I let a stinker & felt better. Butt it stunk. : ]

    March 5, 2011 at 04:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Scott

    This seems to dovetail with how much meaner people are becoming. You can always tell the people who aren't getting any because they're hateful, nasty, and frustrated.

    March 5, 2011 at 16:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. mandy

    i blame the obama administration!

    August 24, 2011 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
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