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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.


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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.