HOW Many Have Had Sex by Age 21?

Netscape Love & Dating

Fully 96 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 and 59 have had sex, according to a new study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, a branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While only 4 percent of U.S. adults are virgins, the rest have engaged in some kind of sex, including oral and anal sex. And by the time they reach age 21, fully 85 percent have had sex. In addition, a stunning 20 percent have tried hard drugs, such as cocaine or crack. This is the first time researchers looked only at sexual behavior and drug use.

Here are some of the eye-popping results:

  •  Among blacks, 28 percent report having first sex before the age of 15, compared with 14 percent of whits.
  •  15 percent of all adults abstained from sex until they where 21.
  •  17 percent of men and 10 percent of woman said they had two or more sexual partners in the past year.
  •  46 percent of black men said they have had 15 or more sexual partners in there lifetime.
  •  For all men, the median number for sexual partners is 6.8.
  •  For all woman, the median number of sexual partners is 3.7.
  •  The younger a person is, the more likely he or she is to have had multiple partners.
  •  Overall, only 11 percent of unmarried adults are virgins
  •  Mexican-Americans are the most likely to report never having had any form of sex with 24 percent of men and 45 percent of woman in this group claiming to be virgins.
  •  More than 19 percent of those ages 20 to 29 said they have tried cocaine, crack or other street drug. excluding marijuana, compared with 27 percent for those in their 30s, 26 percent for those in their 40s and 9.6 percent for those in their 50s.


What bothers researchers the most is how young so many people are when they start having sex. “We still have a public health problem in what we still see a lot of adults reporting their sexual debut at a pretty young age.” Dr. Kathryn Porter of the National Center for Health Statistics, who led the survey for more than 6,237 people ages 20 to 59, told Reuters. “That is an area of concern because risky sexual behaviors can result in sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies.”

Unlike other surveys where people may be too embarrassed to be truthful, the researchers believe they have created one of the most honest assessments yet of sexual behavior and drug use because they used a new method to do the research. Each participant answered the questions in complete privacy in a computer-assisted self-interview using a headset and computer touch screen. This is the first time this technique has ver been used.

–From the Editor at Netscpe.


Facts on American Teens’ Sexual and Reproductive Health

February 2012


•Although only 13% of teens have had sex by age 15, most initiate sex in their later teen years. By their 19th birthday, seven in 10 female and male teens have had intercourse.[1]

•On average, young people have sex for the first time at about age 17,[2,3] but they do not marry until their mid-20s.[4] This means that young adults may be at increased risk for unintended pregnancy and STIs for nearly a decade or longer.

•Teens are waiting longer to have sex than they did in the recent past. In 2006–2008, some 11% of never-married females aged 15–19 and 14% of never-married males that age had had sex before age 15, compared with 19% and 21%, respectively, in 1995.[1]

•However, after declining substantially between 1995 and 2002, the proportion of teens who had ever had sex did not change significantly from 2002 to 2006–2008.[1]

•In 2006–2010, the most common reason that sexually inexperienced teens gave for not having had sex was that it was “against religion or morals” (38% among females and 31% among males). The second and third most common reasons for females were “don’t want to get pregnant” and “haven’t found the right person yet.”[5]

•Among sexually experienced teens, 70% of females and 56% of males report that their first sexual experience was with a steady partner, while 16% of females and 28% of males report first having sex with someone they had just met or who was just a friend.[5]

•Seven percent of young women aged 18–24 who had had sex before age 20 report that their first sexual experience was nonvoluntary. Those whose first partner was three or more years their senior were more likely to report this than were other women in the same age-group.[1]

•Teens in the United States and Europe have similar levels of sexual activity. However, European teens are more likely than U.S. teens to use contraceptives generally and to use the most effective methods; they therefore have substantially lower pregnancy rates.[6]

•Three percent of males and 8% of females aged 18–19 in 2002 reported their sexual orientation as homosexual or bisexual; the proportions reporting same-sex behaviors were similar.[7]

•The use of contraceptives during first premarital sex has been increasing, rising from 56% among women whose first premarital sex occurred before 1985, to 76% among those who first had sex in 2000–2004, to 84% among those whose first sex occurred in 2005–2008.[9]


•A sexually active teen who does not use a contraceptive has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within a year.[8]

•The majority of sexually experienced teens (78% of females and 85% of males) used contraceptives the first time they had sex.[5]

•The condom is the most common contraceptive method used at first intercourse; 68% of females and 80% of males use it the first time they have sex. [5]

•In 2006–2010, some 96% of sexually experienced female teens had used a condom at least once, 57% had ever used withdrawal and 56% had used the pill. Smaller proportions had used other methods.[5]

•In the same period, one in five sexually active female teens (20%) and one-third of sexually active male teens (34%) reported having used both the condom and a hormonal method the last time they had sex.[5] Dual method use offers protection against both pregnancy and STIs.

•In 2006–2010, some 86% of female teens and 93% of male teens reported using contraceptives at last sex. These proportions represent a marked improvement since 1995, when only 71% of female teens and 82% of male teens had reported using a method at last sex. However, the proportions were unchanged between 2002 and 2006–2010.[5]

•Nearly one in five female teens at risk for unintended pregnancy (19%) were not using any contraceptive method at last intercourse.[9]


•No state explicitly requires parental consent or notification for contraceptive services. However, two states (Texas and Utah) require parental consent for contraceptive services paid for with state funds.[10]

•Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia explicitly allow minors to obtain contraceptive services without a parent’s involvement. Another 25 states have affirmed that right for certain classes of minors, while four states have no law. In the absence of a specific law, courts have determined that minors’ privacy rights include the right to obtain contraceptive services.[10]

•In 2002, some 90% of publicly funded family planning clinics counseled clients younger than 18 about abstinence, the importance of communicating with parents about sex or both topics.[11]

•Nearly two million women younger than 20 were served by publicly supported family planning centers in 2005; these teens represented one-quarter of the centers’ contraceptive clients.[12]

•In 2006, only 5% of American high schools made condoms available to students.[12]


•Young people aged 13–24 made up about 17% of all people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in the United States in 2008.[13]

•Although 15–24-year-olds represent only one-quarter of the sexually active population, they account for nearly half (9.1 million) of the 18.9 million new cases of STIs each year.[14]

•Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections account for about half of STIs diagnosed among 15–24-year-olds each year. HPV is extremely common, often asymptomatic and generally harmless. However, certain types, if left undetected and untreated, can lead to cervical cancer.[14]

•Two HPV vaccines—Gardasil and Cervarix are currently available, and both prevent the types of infections most likely to lead to cervical cancer. The Centers for Disease Control now recommends HPV vaccinations for both girls and boys, starting at age 11.

•In 2009, 44% of females aged 13–19 had received one or more doses of the vaccine against HPV; 27% had completed the recommended three doses.[17]

•All 50 states and the District of Columbia explicitly allow minors to consent to STI services without parental involvement, although 11 states require that a minor be of a certain age (generally 12 or 14) to do so. Thirty-one states explicitly include HIV testing and treatment in the package of STI services to which minors may consent.[18]


•Each year, almost 750,000 U.S. women aged 15–19 become pregnant.[19] Two-thirds of all teen pregnancies occur among 18–19-year-olds.[19]

•Overall, 68 pregnancies occurred per 1,000 women aged 15–19 in 2008. The 2008 rate was a record low and represented a 42% decline from the peak rate of 117 per 1,000, which occurred in 1990.[19]

•The majority of the decline in teen pregnancy rates in the United States (86%) is due to teens’ improved contraceptive use; the rest is due to increased proportions of teens choosing to delay sexual activity.[21]

•Despite having declined, the U.S. teen pregnancy rate continues to be one of the highest in the developed world. It is more than twice as high as rates in Canada (28 per 1,000 women aged 15–19 in 2006) and Sweden (31 per 1,000).[22]

•In 2005, New Mexico had the highest teenage pregnancy rate (93 per 1,000); rates in Nevada, Arizona, Texas and Mississippi followed. The lowest rates were in New Hampshire (33 per 1,000), Vermont, Maine, Minnesota and North Dakota.[20]

•Eighty-two percent of teen pregnancies are unplanned; teens account for about one-fifth of all unintended pregnancies annually.[23]

•Fifty-nine percent of pregnancies among 15–19-year-olds in 2008 ended in birth, and 26% in abortion.[19]

•Black and Hispanic women have the highest teen pregnancy rates (117 and 107 per 1,000 women aged 15–19, respectively); non-Hispanic whites have the lowest rate (43 per 1,000).[19]

•The pregnancy rate among black teens decreased 48% between 1990 and 2008, more than the overall U.S. teen pregnancy rate declined during the same period (42%).[19]

•Most female teens report that they would be very upset (58%) or a little upset (29%) if they got pregnant, while the rest report that they would be a little or very pleased.[1]


•Ten percent of all U.S. births are to girls aged 19 or younger.[24]

•Most births to teen mothers are first births. Eighteen percent are second or higher order births.[24]

•The share of births to teen mothers that are nonmarital rose from 79% in 2000 to 86% in 2009. Yet, over the last several decades, the share of all nonmarital births that are to teenagers has been declining, from 52% in 1975 to 21% in 2009.[24, 25]

•In 2009, some 39 births occurred per 1,000 women aged 15–19; this rate marks a 37% decline from the peak rate of 62 reached in 1991.[24]

•Six percent of teen mothers aged 15–19 received late or no prenatal care. Babies born to teens are more likely to be low birth-weight than are those born to women in their 20s and 30s.[26]

•Teen childbearing is associated with reduced educational attainment. Teen mothers are substantially less likely than women who delay childbearing to complete high school or obtain a GED by age 22 (66% vs. 94%).[27] Fewer than 2% of teens who have a baby before age 18 attain a college degree by age 30.[28]


•Most teen males report that they would be very upset (46%) or a little upset (34%) if they got someone pregnant, while the remaining 20% report that they would be pleased or a little pleased.[5]

•Teen fatherhood rates vary considerably by race. In 2006, the rate among black males aged 15–19 who became fathers (34 per 1,000) was more than twice that among whites (15 per 1,000).[29]

•The rate of teen fatherhood declined 25% between 1990 and 2006, from 24 to 18 per 1,000 males aged 15–19. This decline was far more substantial among blacks than among whites (38% vs. 18%).[29]


•Women aged 15–19 had 192,090 abortions in 2008.[19]

•The reasons teens most frequently give for having an abortion are that they are concerned about how having a baby would change their lives, cannot afford a baby now and do not feel mature enough to raise a child.[30]

•As of October 2011, laws in 36 states required that a minor seeking an abortion involve her parents in the decision.[31]


One of these women is a virgin, one has had 13 lovers and one has only slept with her husband … can you tell which is which? Laura McGarrity and Kerry McKittrick talk to local women about their attitudes towards sex

It’s a subject which divides the sexes like no other — how many people have you slept with? Even in these supposedly enlightened times, there are double standards.

Men often feel comfortable boasting about their number of conquests. If it is high then they are regarded as real men-about-town.

But for women, a large number of sexual partners draws a much less favourable response, often running the risk of being branded ‘easy’.

The NHS Information Centre conducted a survey last year and found on average men sleep with 9.3 partners, twice as many as women whose average is 4.7.

Of course there are exceptions to the rule. Strong religious beliefs, fear of sexual intimacy or the transmission of sexual diseases are some of the reasons why men and women seek only one partner in life, be that in marriage or another relationship. Despite sexual drive being a basic human instinct and sex saturating newspapers, TV shows, movies and popular culture, when it comes down to it, actually talking about your number of partners and revealing your innermost secrets, can be a daunting prospect for many women.

We asked a number of local women to tell us about their sexual experiences — or lack of them.

‘Of course I’ve been tempted, I’m only human’

Allie Thompson (22) is a physiotherapy graduate currently doing a year-long internship at the Christian Fellowship Church in Belfast. She is single and lives with her parents in Belfast. She says:

For me, it wasn’t really a decision I made. I’ve grown up in the church, my dad is a pastor and I’ve been a Christian since I was five. There was never a point that I decided to abstain until I got married, it was just something I believed in.

As I’ve grown older though, my choice has become firmer. I’ve had a couple of long-term relationships with guys who have thought the same way as me. I don’t just go out with anyone, I really need to know the person and be friends with them first. My boyfriends have had similar beliefs to mine so they have always respected my decision.

Of course there have been times when I’ve been tempted as I’m only human.

For me though, I put God first so that comes before sex.

My friends all know what I believe in. Even the non-Christian friends I had at university might not have understood my decision but they respected it. No one has ever made fun of me because of my beliefs. It’s just not an issue.

I’m really happy with who I am and the life I lead. I would like to get married some day but if I don’t I’m still happy if it’s just me. If you’re going to spend the rest of your life with someone then it needs to be the right person.

‘If guys tried to pressure me into sex I just walked away’

Katrina Patterson (29) works for Love For Life, an organisation that educates young people about sex and relationships. She lives in Belfast with her husband Stephen. She says:

I wanted to save myself for marriage — it had a lot to do with the way I was raised. I grew up Christian and my dad was a minister. My parents were very open about the whole thing and always encouraged me to discuss things like sex and relationships.

My reasons for not have sex before marriage were both Biblical and personal.

I liked the idea of only ever being with one person because I thought it would make things more personal. I also knew that I wouldn’t be at risk of STDs or pregnancy.

Once I made the decision as a teenager, I stuck to it.

Most of the boyfriends I had before Stephen were Christian and had either made a similar choice or were understanding.

I had always been upfront about not having sex but there were still a couple of guys who put some pressure on me to do it.

If there was too much pressure on me then I walked away from the relationship.

Now that I am married I know I made the right choice.

Some people say that if you wait until you get married to have sex then you don’t have a lot.

That’s just not true — Stephen and I have lots! Sex is a very intimate thing and because Stephen is the only person I have slept with it makes marriage very real to me.

I have quite a few non-Christian friends who might once have thought I was mad to wait but now they tell me that they envy me. They feel that they might have rushed into sexual relationships and that they’ve missed out on something.

They have also caught STDs. People don’t think that a one-night stand can have an effect on your whole life.

‘Waiting until marriage has strengthened our relationship’

Jean Garland (58) is a former nurse and midwife. Jean (left) lives in Belfast with her husband, Sid. They have three children. She says:

I was brought up as Presbyterian and when I married my husband, Sid, I started going to Evangelical Presbyterian churches.

Growing up in a Christian home, we were taught to believe in the Bible, His guidance and rules. Sex before marriage was not something that God, in His wisdom, wanted for us.

It wasn’t until my late teens that I started to believe that it wasn’t what I wanted either.

After school I studied nursing and midwifery and my views on abstinence only got stronger.

Witnessing so many different difficult family situations and breakdowns, I am not condemning anyone, but I became sure that I wanted to wait to have sex until I got married.

When I was a student at Queen’s I met my husband Sid, through some mutual friends.

Quite early on in the relationship we talked about our beliefs and how we both wanted to save sex until we got married. For us, this worked out well. It didn’t undermine our relationship, only strengthened it.

We got married when I was 23 and shortly after that we decided that we both wanted to do missionary work in Africa.

Northern Ireland is so privileged and we as Christians wanted to get out into the world and help those less fortunate.

My husband and I worked in Nigeria for 23 years.

Most of my work was trying to prevent the transmission of HIV from a mother to her child.

It was hard for me to walk down the street and realise that two out of 10 people walking beside me were living with Aids — 90% of the cases were sexually contracted. For women, this was often because their husbands had been unfaithful to them.

People can get the impression that God’s rules are there to spoil people’s fun by telling us what we can’t do, but I like to look at it in a more positive way.

By sharing his wisdom and guiding us, I think God is protecting us.

Waiting until you are married to have sex is what I believe in. I am not judging anyone else’s decisions.

The rules that we are given are for the good of people and the community, if we could see that God is a God of love.

‘I lost my virginity to pal when I was a teenager’

Siobhan Barbour (23) is a lighting technician and lives in Belfast with her partner Matt. She says:

When you are talking about sex I think sometimes you need to distinguish between actual sex and different kinds of sex acts.

If we’re talking about sex with a man then I’ve slept with about nine men. If we’re talking about any kind of sex then it’s 13 and a mixture between men and women.

I wouldn’t call myself bisexual but I would say I fall outside the remit of straight. All of my long-term partners have been male though.

I’ve never had casual or anonymous sex. I don’t do one night stands — I need to actually know the person I’m sleeping with because attraction for me isn’t just physical but mental too.

I lost my virginity when I was a teenager to a close friend of mine. We weren’t in a relationship but he was about to move away and he was the right person because we were so close.

I come from a family that’s always been open minded about sex — my mum bought me condoms when I was younger. She was the person who told me it was nice to know the person you were sleeping with beforehand. Sex is always better when you respect the person you’re with and you feel respected by them.

It’s still a taboo subject particularly in Northern Ireland — people can be quite backward when it comes to talking about sex. I think if you’re going to have sex then get tested for STDs on a regular basis. At the very least it gives you some peace of mind.

‘All of those I slept with were my good friends’

Kathie Krueger (21) is a call centre worker. Originally from Germany she lives in Belfast with her fiancé Ladi. She says:

I ‘ve slept with about 13 people — one of them was a woman. I was in a long-term relationship from the age of 15 until I was 20 and most of the people I have slept with were after that.

Last year I got a job as a holiday rep and that’s where I met most of them. I didn’t just jump into bed with anyone though — if I’m going to sleep with someone then I have to know them.

All of those people were good friends — they weren’t just one night stands. I felt comfortable enough with them to sleep with them.

Since then I have met Ladi and we have a very good relationship. We’re very comfortable with each other and I can say anything to him.

I don’t regret anything. I lost my virginity to someone I trusted in a good relationship. When that ended I wanted to have a bit of fun and I did. I think I’m lucky because I’ve also found the guy I’m going to marry and we’ve moved in together.

I think you have to make the decision yourself about how many people you want to be with and I don’t see anything wrong with only sleeping with one person for the rest of your life.

When do people start having sex?

  • An NHS sex survey last year found men aged 25-34 on average have twice the number of partners as women — 9.3 for men compared to 4.7 for women.
  • Only 4 % of people aged 55-64 admitted to losing their virginity before the age of 16 while 27% of people aged 16-24 admitted to having sex before turning 16.
  • By contrast, a survey in More magazine in 2008 found the average 21-year-old woman has had nine sexual partners compared with seven for men.
  • It also found just 1% of young women would want to get married before sex

Age at First Intercourse

  • By their late teenage years, at least 3/4 of all men and women have had intercourse, and more than 2/3 of all sexually experienced teens have had 2 or more partners (AGI, 2002).
  • A 2007 evaluation of Abstinence (only) Sex Education programs by Mathmatica Policy Research did not find that they had any effects on rates of abstinence among youth, nor on the average age of first intecourse. Government funded abstinence based programs, compared to previous sex education programs, show little significant difference in rates of teen sex. 
Percent of population having had first intercourse, by age
25% by age 15 26% by age 15
37% by age 16 40% by age 16
46% by age 17 49% by age 17
62% by age 18 70% by age 18
69% by age 19 77% by age 19
85% by age 20-21 81% by age 20-21
89% by age 22-24 92% by age 22-24

(Mosher, Chandra, & Jones, 2005)

Average age of first intercourse, by gender

(AGI, 2002).

Average age of first intercourse, by ethnicity
White Black Hispanic Asian American Other
16.6 15.8 17.0 18.1 17.4

(Upchurch et al, 1998)

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  • BDSM stands for Bondage, Discipline, Domination/Submission, Sadism/Masochism.
  • In a small sample there were no significant differences between BDSM practitioners and the general population on measures of psychopathology, depression, anxiety, OCD, and psychological sadism and masochism. (Connoly 2006)
  • A study looking at message board posts found 71% of heterosexual males but only 11% of heterosexual females and 12% of homosexual males prefer a dominant role when engaging in sexual bondage. (Ernulf, 1995.)
  • The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, a national organization committed to supporting the equal rights of consenting adults who practice forms of alternative sexual expression, conducted an informal survey of SM practitioners in 1998-1999. Some survey results are available on the NCSF website, and indicate that SM practitioners may be at greater risk for harassment, violence, and damage to property.(NCSF, 1999)
  • 5-10% of the U.S. engages in SM for sexual pleasure on at least an occasional basis (Lowe, 1983).
  • 12% of females and 22% of males reported erotic response to a SM story (Kinsey, Martin, Gebhard, 1953).
  • 55% of females and 50% of males reported having responded erotically to being bitten (Kinsey, Martin, Gebhard, 1953).
  • 14% of men and 11% of women have had some sexual experience with sadomasochism (Janus & Janus, 1993).
  • 11% of men and 17% of women reported trying bondage (Lowe, 1983).

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  • A 2011 study found that bisexual men exhibited a distinctive arousal pattern separate from heterosexual or homosexual men. Cerny, 2011.

See also: data from the Kinsey Reports

Condom Use

Condom Use Rates by Age and Gender

(Click image for larger version)

Condom Use Rates by Age and Gender

(NSSHB, 2010)

Information on condom use and errors, from ongoing research at The Kinsey Institute:
  • 28.1% of men reported that they had lost their erection while putting on a condom at least once during the last three times they used a condoms.
  • Men who reported erection loss with condoms were almost twice as likely to report having removed a condom prematurely during the last three condom uses. (40.8% of men reporting erection loss prematurely removed condoms, compared with 21.3% of men not reporting problems)
  • Erection loss was more likely among men who reported at least one condom breakage (47.1 percent) compared with men not reporting breakage (32.5 percent).
  • A study at The Kinsey Institute found some of the most common problems with condom use to be damage (74%), not checking the expiration date (61%), and not discussing condom use with a partner before sex (60%). In addition, various technical errors were found, including putting on the condom after starting sex (43%), taking off the condom before sex was over (15%), not leaving a space at the tip of the condom (40%), and placing the condom upside down on the penis and then having to flip it over (30%). 29% of study participants reported condom breakage and 13% reported that the condom slipped off during sex. Individuals who reported slippage or breakage also had significantly higher scores for condom use errors., “Condom, erection-loss study identifies possible path to risky behavior,” Indiana University Press Release (2006)
  • More information and study results at


  • 1 of 4 acts of vaginal intercourse are condom protected in the U.S. (1 in 3 among singles). (NSSHB, 2010)
  • Condom use is higher among black and Hispanic Americans than among white Americans and those from other racial groups. (NSSHB, 2010)
  • Adults using a condom for intercourse were just as likely to rate the sexual extent positively in terms of arousal, pleasure and orgasm than when having intercourse without one. (NSSHB, 2010)
  • 62% of the 62 million women aged 15-44 are currently using a contraceptive method (AGI, 2002).
  • Among U.S. women who practice contraception, the Pill is the most popular choice (30.6%), followed by tubal sterilization (27.0%), and the male condom (18.0%).(AGI, 2002).
  • 27% of teenage women using contraceptives choose condoms as their primary method. (AGI, 2002).

See Kinsey Confidential for more information on contraceptive methods and effectiveness.

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  • Men’s sexual fantasies tend to be more sexually explicit than women’s; women’s fantasies tend to be more emotional and romantic(Zurbriggen & Yost, 2004).
  • In one study, men’s fantasies mentioned a partner’s sexual desire and pleasure more frequently than did women’s fantasies (Zurbriggen & Yost, 2004).
  • 54% of men think about sex everyday or several times a day, 43% a few times per month or a few times per week, and 4% less than once a month (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994).
  • 19% of women think about sex everyday or several times a day, 67% a few times per month or a few times per week, and 14% less than once a month (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994).
  • Recalled onset of first sexual fantasy is generally between 11-13yrs with men recalling earlier onset of fantasy than women. (Leitenberg, 1995)
  • Sexual fantasies are healthy, occurring most often in people showing the fewest sexual problems and least sexual dissatisfaction.(Leitenberg, 1995).
  • While both men and women can experience similar fantasies, women more often fantasize about taking a passive role or being dominated while men more often fantasize about taking a dominant role, doing something sexual to their partner, or having multiple partners. (Leitenberg, 1995).

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Frequency of sex

Percentage of Men Reporting Frequency of Vaginal Sex, N=2396
Age Group
  Not in past year
  A few times per year to monthly
 A few times per month to weekly
 2-3 times per week
 4 or more times per week
Not in past year
A few times per year to monthly
A few times per month to weekly
2-3 times per week
4 or more times per week
Not in past year
A few times per year to monthly
A few times per month to weekly
2-3 times per week
4 or more times per week

NSSHB, 2010, “Sexual Behavior in the United States: Results from a National Probability Sample of Men and Women Ages 14-94.”

Percentage of Women Reporting Frequency of Vaginal Sex, N=2393
Age Group
  Not in past year
  A few times per year to monthly
 A few times per month to weekly
 2-3 times per week
 4 or more times per week
Not in past year
A few times per year to monthly
A few times per month to weekly
2-3 times per week
4 or more times per week
Not in past year
A few times per year to monthly
A few times per month to weekly
2-3 times per week
4 or more times per week

NSSHB, 2010, “Sexual Behavior in the United States: Results from a National Probability Sample of Men and Women Ages 14-94.”


  • 90% of men and 86% of women have had sex in the past year
  • 27% of men and 19% of women have had oral sex in the past year
  • 23% of men and 11% of women have bought X-rated movies or videos
  • 10% of men and 9% of women have had anal sex in the past year.
  • 18-29 year olds have sex an average of 112 times per year, 30-39 year olds an average of 86 times per year, and 40-49 year olds an average of 69 times per year (Mosher, Chandra, Jones 2005).
  • 23% of non-married men reported they have never had sex in the past year, 25% reported only a few times in the past year, 26% reported a few times in the past month, 19% reported 2-3 times a week, and 7% reported 4 or more times a week (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994).
  • 32% of non-married women reported they have never had sex in the past year, 23% reported only a few times in the past year, 24% reported a few times in the past month, 15% reported 2-3 times a week, and 5% reported 4 or more times a week (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994).
  • 1% of married men reported they have never had sex in the past year, 13% reported only a few times in the past year, 43% reported a few times in the past month, 36% reported 2-3 times a week, and 7% reported 4 or more times a week (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994).
  • 3% of married women reported they have never had sex in the past year,
  • 12% reported only a few time in the past year, 47% reported a few times in the past month, 32% reported 2-3 times a week, and 7% reported 4 or more times a week (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994).
  • 13% of married couples reported having sex a few times per year, 45% reported a few times per month, 34% reported 2-3 times per week, and 7% reported 4 or more times per week (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994).

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  • As of 2010, the CDC estimates that over one million people are living with HIV in the U.S., with 1 in five of those people unaware of their infection.

Estimated number of diagnoses of HIV among adults by demographic category (2010).


% of New Infections Each Year % of People Living with HIV
Infected Individuals in the U.S. by Exposure Category
Men who have sex with men
Infected through heterosexual contact
– Women only
Injection drug use
Infected Individuals in the U.S. by Race or Ethnicity
African American (men and women)
Hispanic / Latino (men and women)


(CDC 2010)

Estimated number of diagnoses of AIDS among adults by exposure category (2003).


Exposure Category Estimated # of AIDS Cases, in 2003
Male Female Total
Male-to-male sexual contact
Injection Drug Use
Male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use
Heterosexual contact


(CDC, 2003)

    Estimated numbers of diagnoses of AIDS, by race or ethnicity (2003):


Race or Ethnicity Estimated # of AIDS Cases in 2003 Cumulative Estimated # of AIDS Cases, Through 2003
White, not Hispanic 12,222 376,834
Black, not Hispanic 21,304 368,169
Hispanic 8,757 172,993
Asian/Pacific Islander 497 7,166
American Indian/Alaska Native 196 3,026

(CDC, 2003)

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  • The Kinsey Institute Bibliography: Prevalence of Homosexuality
  • In an analysis of national survey results from 2006-2008, The percentage reporting their sexual identity as homosexual ranged from 2% to 4% of males, and about 1% to 2% of females. The percentage reporting their sexual identity as bisexual is between 1% and 3% of males, and 2% to 5% of females. (Chandra, Mosher, Copen, and Sionean 2011)
  • About 4%–6% of males ever had same-sex contact. For females, the percentage who have ever had same-sex contact ranges from about 4% … to 11%–12%. (Chandra, Mosher, Copen, and Sionean 2011)
  • While about 7% of adult women and 8% of men identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual, the proportion of individuals in the U.S. who have had same-gender sexual interactions at some point in their lives is higher. (NSSHB, 2010)
  • In a national survey, 90% of men aged 18-44 considered themselves to be heterosexual, 2.3% as homosexual, 1.8% as bisexual, and 3.9% as ‘something else’ (Mosher, Chandra, & Jones, 2005).
  • Among women aged 18-44 in the same survey, 90% said they were heterosexual, 1.3% homosexual, 2.8% bisexual, and 3.8% as ‘something else’ (Mosher, Chandra, & Jones, 2005).
  • The incidence rate of homosexual desire for men is 7.7% and 7.5% for women (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994).
  • 6.2% of men and 4.4% of women are attracted to people of the same sex (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994).
  • 4% of men and 2% of women consider themselves homosexual while 5% of men and 3% of women consider themselves bisexual (Janus & Janus, 1993).
  • 88.2% of adolescent youths as a Minnesota junior/senior high school described himself or herself as heterosexual, while 1.1% described himself or herself as bisexual or homosexual, and 10.7% were not sure of their sexual orientation (Remafedi, 1992).

Kinsey Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale – also known as “the Kinsey scale”

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  • Infidelity has been found to be the single most cited cause of divorce in over 150 cultures. (Betzig, 1989)
  • In western countries, between 25 and 50% of divorcees cite a spouse’s infidelity as the primary cause of the divorce. (Kelly, 1987;Amato, 1997)
  • Approximately 20-25% of men and 10-15% of women engage in extramarital sex at least once during their marriage. (Laumann, 1994;Wiederman, 1997)
  • Pregnancy appears to be a time of increased risk of extramarital sex. (Allen, 2005White, 1982)
  • Women are less approving than men of sexual justifications for extramarital affairs, preferring emotional reasons such as “falling in love”. (Glass, 1992).
  • Approximately 50% of divorced men and women reported that there former spouse had engaged in extra-marital sex. For divorced couples, previous participation in extramarital sex showed no effect on post-marital adjustment. (Spanier, 1982).
  • 11% of adults who have ever been married or cohabited have been unfaithful to their partner (Treas & Giesen, 2000).
  • Infidelity is influenced by many social and demographic factors. All of the following were associated with an increased risk of infidelity: having been part of a couple for a long time; having had a high number of prior sex partners; being male or black; living in a central city; and thinking about sex several times a day (Treas & Giesen, 2000).
  • Respondents who reported that their relationships were “pretty happy” and “not too happy” were two and four times more likely, respectively, to have reported extramarital sex than respondents who reported that they were “very happy” with their relationships(Atkins et al., 2001).
  • More than 80% of women and 65 to 85% of men report that they had no partners other than their spouse while they were married (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994).
  • 94% of married men and women had only one sex partner (their spouse) in the past 12 months, 4% had 2-4 partners, and 1% had over 5 partners (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994).

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Internet Pornography

  • Overuse, pornography, infidelity, and risky behaviors are among the most frequently treated Internet-related problems by mental health professionals. (Mitchell, 2005).
  • Over half of all spending on the Internet is estimated to be related to sex. (Yoder, 2005).
  • US porn revenues have been estimated to exceed the combined revenues of companies like ABC, CBS, and NBC. (Yoder, 2005).
  • In a survey of adolescent (10-17yrs) internet users found 42% had been exposed to internet pornography in the past year, with 66% of those exposures reported as unwanted. (Wolak, 2007).
  • Only boys ages 16-17 reported more wanted exposures than unwanted exposures to internet pornography. (Wolak, 2007).
  • In a national study, 14% of people reported having used a sexually explicit website ever (Buzzell, 2005).
  • In the same study, 25% of men reported visiting a pornographic site in the previous 30 days; 4% of women reported visiting pornographic sites in the same timeframe. (Buzzell, 2005).
  • Only 8% of men and women using the Internet for sexual reasons reported significant problems typically associated with compulsive disorders (Cooper, Scherer, Boies, Gordon, 1999).
  • In a study of Internet addiction of 396 “addicts”, as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV, the average time spent on the Internet for nonacademic and nonprofessional purposes was 38 hours per week (Cooper, Scherer, Boies, Gordon, 1999).
  • Males have been found to make up two thirds of users of sexually explicit Internet sites and account for 77% of on-line time (Cooper, Scherer, Boies, Gordon, 1999).
  • 51% of women reported they never download sexual material (Cooper, Scherer, Boies, Gordon, 1999).

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Masturbation activity alone by men and women in the past month, past year, and over their lifetime:


AGE 18-19 20-24 25-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70+
Past Month 61.1% 62.8% 68.6% 66.4% 60.1% 55.7% 42.3% 27.9%
Past Year 80.6% 82.7% 83.6% 80.1% 76% 72.1% 61.2% 46.4%
Lifetime 86.1 91.8% 94.3% 93.4% 92% 89.2% 90.2% 80.4%
Past Month 26% 43.7% 51.7% 38.6% 38.5% 28.3% 21.5% 11.5%
Past Year 60% 64.3% 71.5% 62.9% 64.9% 54.1% 46.5% 32.8%
Lifetime 66% 76.8% 84.6% 80.3% 78% 77.2% 72% 58.3%


NSSHB, 2010

  • More than half of women ages 18 to 49 reported masturbating during the previous 90 days. Rates were highest among those 25-29 and progressively lesser in older age groups. NSSHB, 2010
  • Approximately one-third of women in all relationships in the 60- to 69-year cohort reported recent masturbation. NSSHB, 2010
  • Among women in the National Sex Survey older than 70, solo masturbation was reported by more than half who were in a non-cohabitating relationship, compared to 12.2% among married women.NSSHB, 2010

Masturbation activity with a partner by men and women in the past month, past year, and over their lifetime:


AGE 18-19 20-24 25-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70+
Past Month 14.5% 15% 20.5% 22.9% 19.2% 14.4% 10.3% 4.1%
Past Year 42% 43.5% 49.3% 44.7% 38.1% 27.9% 17% 12.9%
Lifetime 49.3% 54.5% 69% 68.3% 61.5% 51.9% 37% 31.6%
Past Month 18.4% 16.1% 24.1% 19.3% 12.7% 6.7% 5.9% 2.1%
Past Year 36% 35.9% 48.2% 43.3% 34.8% 17.7% 13.1% 5.3%
Lifetime 38.8% 46.9% 64% 63.1% 56.1% 46.9% 36.4% 17.5%


NSSHB, 2010

  • Partnered masturbation among women was reported highest among women ages 25-29. NSSHB, 2010
  • Across all age groups, partnered women are significantly more likely to report having engaged in partnered masturbation as compared to nonpartnered women. NSSHB, 2010
  • Partnered masturbation was most common among women in the 25-29 and 30-39 year-old groups who were single and dating.NSSHB, 2010

Other study results on masturbation activity:

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Number of Partners

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  • About 85% of men report that their partner had an orgasm at the most recent sexual event; this compares to the 64% of women who report having had an orgasm at their most recent sexual event. (A difference that is too large to be accounted for by some of the men having had male partners at their most recent event.) (NSSHB, 2010.)
  • Men are more likely to orgasm when sex includes vaginal intercourse; women are more likely to orgasm when they engage in a variety of sex acts and when oral sex or vaginal intercourse is included. (NSSHB, 2010.)
  • Among ages 18-59, older age for men is associated with lower likelihood of his own orgasm; for women it is associated with a higher likelihood of her own orgasm. Age is not associated with the partner’s orgasm for either men or women. NSSHB, 2010.
  • Women are much more likely to be nearly always or always orgasmic when alone than with a partner. However, among women currently in a partnered relationship, 62% say they are very satisfied with the frequency/consistency of orgasm (Davis, Blank, Hung-Yu, & Bonillas, 1996).
  • Many women express that their most satisfying sexual experiences entail being connected to someone, rather than solely basing satisfaction on orgasm (Bridges, Lease, & Ellison, 2004).
  • 75% of men and 29% of women always have orgasms with their partner (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994).
  • About 40% for both men and women said they were extremely pleased physically and extremely emotionally satisfied (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, Michaels, 1994).
  • 25% of men and 14% of women reported that simultaneous orgasm is a must (Janus & Janus, 1993).
  • 10% of men and 18% of women reported a preference for oral sex to achieve orgasm (Janus & Janus, 1993).
  • It is possible to experience both genital and non-genital orgasm, even for some individuals with spinal cord injuries. (Komisaruk, 2005).

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Penis Size

  • According to Gebhard and Johnson (1979), the average erect penis of males in the US is 5-7 inches and the average circumference is 4-6 inches. See Penis FAQ & Bibliography for more information.
  • More recent data (not yet published) indicates an average erect penis length is between 5 to 6 inches, and average flaccid penis length ranges between 1 and 4 inches.
  • A study of 300 men (unpublished) conducted by Kinsey Institute researcher Dr. Erick Janssen from 1989-1993 returned a mean penis circumference of 122 mm (approximately 4.8 inches).
  • For a discussion of recent research, and facts and myths about penis size, see “Penis Myths Debunked” at
  • For a discussion of the facts and myths about penis enlargement, please visit the Male Sex Questions section of our Kinsey Confidential website.

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  • Roughly six million U.S. women become pregnant per year. About two-thirds of these pregnancies result in live births and roughly 25% in abortions; the remainder end in miscarriage. (AGI, 2005).
  • The U.S. teen pregnancy rate fell by 27 percent between 1990 and 2000, from 116.3 pregnancies per 1,000 girls aged 15-19 to 84.5. This data includes live births, abortions, and fetal losses. Pregnancy data includes live births, induced abortions, and fetal losses (NCHS, 2004).
  • 6 in 10 teen pregnancies occur among 18-19 year-olds (AGI, 1999).
  • Almost 1 million teenage women, 10% of all women aged 15-19 and 19% of those who have had intercourse, become pregnant each year (AGI, 1999).
  • 80 million women have unwanted or unintended pregnancies every year (Glasier et al, 2006).

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Prostitution/Sex Work

  • 15.3% of men estimated to have had sex with a prostitute previously (Smith 2006)
  • Despite common conceptions of prostitution, only a minority of prostitutes work on the streets (10–30%). While street prostitution receives the majority of legal attention, far more prostitutes work as escorts, call girls, or in massage parlors and brothels. (Weitzer, 2005).
  • Average prostitution arrests are comprised of 70% female prostitutes, 20% percent male prostitutes and 10% customers (Alexander, 1987).
  • In 1983, 125,600 people were arrested for prostitution while in 1994, that number dropped to 98,190 people (Meier, Geis, 1997).
  • 69% of white males had at least one experience with a prostitute (Kinsey, Martin, Gebhard, 1948).

Reproductive Health

  • Postpartum depression (PPD) strikes about 1 in 10 Western women. Studies of Western women have demonstrated that this emotional experience can occur during pregnancy and/or after delivery, and even in women who adopt an infant. (Goldbort, 2006).
  • Each year, 210 million women suffer life-threatening complications of pregnancy and half a million die from pregnancy-related causes (99% of them in developing countries) (Glasier et al, 2006).
  • Each year, 3 million babies die in the first week of life and about 3.3 million infants are stillborn. (Glasier et al, 2006).
  • Currently, more than 120 million couples a year have an unmet need for contraception (Glasier et al, 2006).
  • Each year, 257 000 women die from cervical cancer (Glasier et al, 2006).


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Sex and Aging


Percentage reporting sexual activity
within the past year
  Men 50-80+   Women 50-80+ 
Not in past year
A few times per year
A few times per month
2 or 3 times per week
4 or more times per week
Gave oral sex
Within the past year
Received oral sex
Within the past year
Penile-vaginal intercourse
Not in past year
A few times per year
A few times per month
2 or 3 times per week
4 or more times per week
Anal intercourse
Within the past year

NSSHB, 2010, “Sexual Behaviors, Condom Use, and Sexual Health of Americans Over 50: Implications for Sexual Health Promotion for Older Adults.”

  • Among participants aged 18-59 in the National Survey of Sexual Health Behavior (2010), age was related to greater difficulty with erections and lubrication. NSSHB, 2010.
  • Among ages 18-59, older age for men is associated with lower likelihood of his own orgasm; for women it is associated with a higher likelihood of her own orgasm. Age is not associated with the partner’s orgasm for either men or women. NSSHB, 2010.
  • For women aged 50 and higher, older age is related to a decline in all sexual behaviors: 5% per year of age for penile-vaginal intercourse; 7% per year of age receiving or giving oral sex (NSSHB, 2010).
  • For men aged 50 and higher, rates for anal intercourse and receiving oral sex decrease at 8% per year of age (NSSHB, 2010).
  • Most men (63.46%) and approximately half of women (46.73%) aged 50 and higher report masturbating in the last year. Overall rates for oral sex, penile-vaginal intercourse, and anal intercourse within the last year were similar (NSSHB, 2010).
  • Rates of condom usage are low among adults aged 50 and higher, with approximately 2/3 reporting they did not use a condom during their last sexual encounter (NSSHB, 2010).


Percentage of Men Reporting Use of Erectile Medication During Their Last Sexual Encounter
Overall (50-80+)

NSSHB, 2010, “Sexual Behaviors, Condom Use, and Sexual Health of Americans Over 50: Implications for Sexual Health Promotion for Older Adults,” p.322.

Sex and Relationships

  • More than half the participants in the 2010 national sex survey ages 18-24 indicated that their most recent sexual partner was a casual or dating partner. For all other age groups, the majority of study participants indicated that their most recent sexual partner was a relationship partner. (NSSHB, 2010).
  • Men whose most recent sexual encounter was with a relationship partner reported greater arousal, greater pleasure, fewer problems with erectile function, orgasm, and less pain during the event than men whose last sexual encounter was with a non-relationship partner. (NSSHB, 2010).
  • Nearly all Americans marry during their lifetime, yet close to half of all first marriages are expected to end in separation or divorce, many within a few years (Bramlett, 2002) and subsequent marriages are even more likely to end (Karney, 1995).
  • Sexual dissatisfaction is associated with increased risk of divorce and relationship dissolution. (Karney, 1995).
  • Most newly married couples wish to have children at some point during their marriage (Matthews & Matthews, 1986), or already have them.
  • Approximately 15% of married couples, however, are estimated to experience problems trying to become pregnant and seek help, which not uncommonly involves recommendations regarding the timing and frequency of sexual interactions. (Haugen et al., 2004;Meyers, Diamond, Kezur, et al, 1995).
  • A study of married couples found age and marital satisfaction to be the two variables most associated with amount of sex. As couples age, they engage in sex less frequently with half of couples age 65-75 still engaging in sex, but less than one fourth of couples over 75 still sexually active. Across all ages couples who reported higher levels of marital satisfaction also reported higher frequencies of sex. (Call, 1995).

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Sex Practices

There is wide variability in what people consider included in “having sex”. In a recent study at The Kinsey Institute, nearly 45% of participants considered performing manual-genital stimulation to be “having sex,” 71% considered performing oral sex to be “sex,” 80.8% for anal-genital intercourse. Considerations of “sex” also varied depending on whether or not a condom was used, female or male orgasm, and if the respondent was performing or receiving the stimulation.

With participants ranging from 18 to 96 years, the oldest and youngest groups of men were less likely to consider some behaviors as “sex”.

Sanders, Stephanie A., Hill, Brandon J., Yarber, William L., Graham, Cynthia A., Crosby, Richard A. and Milhausen, Robin R. (2010). Misclassification bias: diversity in conceptualizations about having ‘had sex.’ Sexual Health 7(1): 31–34. DOI:10.1071/SH09068.

Percentage of Americans Performing Certain Sexual Behaviors in the Past Year

Click table for larger view

Percentage of American Peforming Certain Sexual Behaviors

NSSHB, 2010

  • There is enormous variability in the sexual repertoires of U.S. adults, with more than 40 combinations of sexual activity described at adults’ most recent sexual event. NSSHB, 2010
  • Adult men and women rarely engage in just one sex act when they have sex. NSSHB, 2010
  • While vaginal intercourse is still the most common sexual behavior reported by adults, many sexual events do not involve intercourse and include only partnered masturbation or oral sex. NSSHB, 2010
  • Half or more of women ages 18 to 39 reported giving or receiving oral sex in the past 90 days. NSSHB, 2010
  • Receptive oral sex is reported by more than half of women who are in a co-habitating relationship between the ages of 18 and 69. It was also reported by more than half of women cohabitation between ages 18 and 49, and more than half of married women ages 30-39.NSSHB, 2010
  • A similar pattern was found for women performing oral sex. NSSHB, 2010
  • For most age groups of women, perceeived health status was significantly associated with having performed oral sex in the past 90 days. NSSHB, 2010
  • The majority of women age 18-49 report vaginal intercourse in the past 90 days. NSSHB, 2010
  • Partnered women in all age groups are significantly more likely to report recent vaginal intercourse, and the gap between partnered and nonpartnered women’s reports of vaginal intercourse increased with age. NSSHB, 2010
  • Although anal intercourse is reported by fewer women than other partnered sex behaviors, it is not rare. NSSHB, 2010
  • Partnered women in the ages groups between 18-49 are significantly more likely to report having anal sex in the past 90 days.NSSHB, 2010

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Sexual Violence

  • 272,350 sexual assaults in 2006 in the US: 1 sexual assault every 116 seconds, or about 1 every 2 minutes. (US Dept of Justice, National Crime Victimization Survey, 2006).
  • Less than 5% of rapes were reported to law enforcement officials. (Fisher, 2000).
  • Rape rates are often drastically high in worn-torn nations. In Rwanda in 1994, it is estimated that between 250,000 and 500,000 women and girls were raped in less than 100 days (Human Rights Watch, 1996).
  • Child sexual abuse is believed to affect 10-25% of girls worldwide (World Health Organization, 2004).
  • In studies conducted mostly in developed countries, 5–10% of men report being sexually abused as children (World Health Organization, 2004)
  • In one 7 month period, 16.6 college women out of 1000 experienced a completed rape and 11 college women out of 1000 experienced an attempted rape (Fisher, Cullen, Turner, 2000).
  • 2.8% of college women experience rape, either completed or attempted (Fisher, Cullen, Turner, 2000).
  • In 9 out of 10 of these cases, the rapist was someone the victim knew, such as a boyfriend, friend, or acquaintance (Fisher, Cullen, Turner, 2000).
  • 22.8% of college rape-victims are multiple-rape victims (Fisher, Cullen, Turner, 2000).
  • Less than 5% of rapes were reported to law enforcement officials (Fisher, Cullen, Turner, 2000).
  • In the general population in the US, 14.8% of women report an experience with a completed rape in their lifetime. Another 2.8% report an attempted rape in their lifetime (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000).
  • An estimated 100 million to 400 million women worldwide have been subjected to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). About 3 million girls are subjected to the procedure every year (World Health Organization, 2006).

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  • Percent of men and women, aged 15-44 reporting any sexually-transmitted infection, other than HIV


    3.2% of ages 15-19 10.5% of ages 15-19
    7.1% of ages 20-24 13.4% of ages 20-24
    4.8% of ages 25-29 16.5% of ages 25-29
    9.3% of ages 30-34 18.6% of ages 30-34
    9.0% of ages 35-44 19.2% of ages 35-44
  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 19 million new sexually-transmitted infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24 (Weinstock, Berman , Cates, 2004).
  • By the age of 24, one in three sexually active people will have contracted an STI (KFF, 1998).
  • At least 65 million people, more than one in 5 Americans, are believed to be infected with a viral STI other than HIV (NCHSTP, 1998).
  • The CDC reports persistent racial disparities in STD rates. Blacks represent only 12 percent of the total U.S. population, but made up about 70 percent of gonorrhea cases and almost half of all chlamydia and syphilis cases in 2007. While Hispanics account for 15 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 19 percent of all reported chlamydia cases(CDC, 2007). The CDC suggests that “Socioeconomic barriers to quality healthcare and STD prevention and treatment services have likely contributed to a higher prevalence and incidence of STDs among racial and ethnic minorities.”
  • Chlamydia remains the most reported infections disease in the US, and also the most undiagnosed; It is estimated that there are approximately 2.8 million new cases of chlamydia in the United States each year, and nearly half of these are unreported (Weinstock, Berman , Cates, 2004).
  • The reported chlamydia case rate for females in 2007 was almost three times higher than for males. This may be in part because increased public knowledge of the disease has led to an increase in screening among young women (CDC, 2007).
  • Chlamydia is common among all races and ethnic groups; however, African-American, American Indian/ Alaska Native, and Hispanic women are disproportionately affected (CDC, 2007).

Comparison of Male and Female Syphilis Trends 1981-2007Click for larger image (CDC, 2007)

  • The rate of primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis — the most infectious stages of the disease — decreased throughout the 1990s, and in 2000 reached an all-time low. However, over the past seven years, the syphilis rate in the United States has been increasing. Between 2006 and 2007, the national P&S syphilis rate increased 15.2 percent, from 3.3 to 3.8 cases per 100,000 population (CDC, 2007).
  • The gap between syphilis rates in men and women has grown consistently. The P&S syphilis rate among males is now six times the rate among females, whereas the rates were almost equivalent a decade ago, suggesting that increases in men have largely been among men who have sex with men (MSM). (CDC, 2007)
  • Even so, overall infection rates among women also increased every year from 2004 to 2007. The largest increases were among black females (CDC, 2007).
  • The rate of congenital syphilis (i.e., transmission from mother to infant) increased for the second year in a row in 2007. Increases in congenital syphilis have historically followed increases among women (CDC, 2007).
  • In 2007, the syphilis rate among blacks was seven times higher than that of whites (14.0 per 100,000 population as compared with 2.0). While this represents a substantial decline from 1999, when the rate among blacks was 29 times greater than among whites, significant disparities remain (CDC, 2007) .

Trends in Gonorrhea Infection 1941-2007Click for larger image (CDC, 2007)

  • After a sharp decline from 1975-1997, rates for gonorrhea have remained stable over the last decade. In 2007, the overall gonorrhea rate was 118.9 cases per 100,000 population, and rates were slightly higher among women (123.5) than among men (113.7). (CDC, 2007).
  • Like chlamydia, gonorrhea is substantially under diagnosed and under reported, and approximately twice as many new infections are estimated to occur each year as are reported (Weinstock, Berman , Cates, 2004).
  • Gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported infectious disease in the United States, with 330,132 cases reported in 2004 (Weinstock, Berman , Cates, 2004).
  • Racial disparities in gonorrhea rates are the most severe of all reportable STDs. The gonorrhea rate among blacks was 19 times greater than that of whites in 2007. (CDC, 2007).

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Teen Sexual Activity

  • At any given point in time, most U.S. adolescents are not engaging in partnered sexual behavior. While 40% of 17 year-old males reported vaginal intercourse in the past year, only 27% reported the same in the past 90 days. (NSSHB, 2010)
  • Solo masturbation is the most prevalent teenage sexual activity, and reported recent solo masturbation is high at 43% of males and 37% of females. (NSSHB, 2010)
  • Solo masturbation rates increase in males to about 2/3 of 17-year-olds, but stay stable among females of all age groups at about 1/3. (NSSHB, 2010)
  • Rates of recent oral sex are relatively low among 14-year-olds (4.3% female partners for young men and 6.6% male partners for young women), but increase with age. (NSSHB, 2010)


SEXUAL ACTIVITY (%) Past 90 Days Past Year Lifetime
Ages 14 -17 Males Females Males Females Males Females
Solo Masturbation
Partnered Masturbation
Gave Oral Sex
Received Oral Sex
Vaginal Intercourse
Anal Intercourse
Any partnered sexual behavior


  • At the ages 15–17, about 13 percent of males and 11 percent of females had had heterosexual oral sex but not vaginal intercourse. (Mosher, Chandra, & Jones, 2005)
  • At ages 18–19, about 11 percent of males and 9 percent of females had had oral sex but not vaginal intercourse. (Mosher, Chandra, & Jones, 2005)
  • Among men aged 15-19 years, 45.1% reported no partners in the last 12 months, 29.7% reported one partner of the opposite sex in the last 12 months, and 21.8% reported two or more partners of the opposite sex in the previous year. (Mosher, Chandra, & Jones, 2005)
  • Among women aged 15-19 years, 42.9% reported no partners in the last 12 months, 30.5% reported one partner of the opposite sex in the last 12 months, and 16.8% reported two or more partners of the opposite sex in the previous year. (Mosher, Chandra, & Jones, 2005)
  • Among men aged 15-19, 2.4% reported having had same-sex sexual contact in the previous 12 months, and 4.5% reported having had same-sex contact in their lifetime. (Mosher, Chandra, & Jones, 2005)
  • Among women aged 15-19, 7.7% reported having had same-sex sexual contact in the previous 12 months. (Mosher, Chandra, & Jones, 2005)
  • Between 1990 and 1998, gonorrhea rates among adolescents aged 15-19 decreased by 50% (DHHS, 2000).
  • Approximately 25% of the 15 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections occur among teenagers (CDC, 2000a).

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There is not a wealth of research on the prevalence of transgenderism and transsexualism. Research that has been done has tended to focus on a particular set of individuals: transsexual individuals who experience gender dysphoria and who present for gender-transition-related care at specialist gender clinics. This does not represent the numbers of other transgender or transsexual individuals who may not experience gender dysphoria and may not seek any kind of medical treatment. Some people consider the description of transgender and transexual as “gender identity disorder” to be controversial, stigmatizing non-conforming sexuality as a disorder requiring treatment. The American Psychiatric Association is currently debating the replacement of “gender identity disorder” with “gender dysphoria” in the DSM-IV.

In Adults

  • A review of 8 transgender studies found rates for male-to-female transgenderism between 1 in11,900 to 1 in 45,000WPATH, 2011.
  • The same review found rates for female-to-male transgenderism between 1 in 30,400 to 1 in 200,000. WPATH, 2011.
  • 1 in 30,000 individuals assigned male at birth seek treatment for Gender Identity Disorder. DSM-IV, 1994.

In Children

“Gender dysphoria during childhood does not inevitably continue into adulthood. Rather, in follow-up studies of prepubertal children (mainly boys) who were referred to clinics for assessment of gender dysphoria, the dysphoria persisted into adulthood for only 6-23% of children (Cohen-Kettenis, 2001; Zucker & Bradley, 1995). Boys in these studies were more likely to identify as gay in adulthood than as transgender (Green, 1987; Money & Russo,1979; Zucker & Bradley, 1995; Zuger, 1984). Newer studies, also including girls, showed a 12-27% persistence rate of gender dysphoria into adulthood (Drummond, Bradley, Peterson-Badali, & Zucker, 2008; Wallien & Cohen-Kettenis, 2008).” -cited in WPATH, 2011, 17.

Sexual Attraction
  • Among male-to-female transgender people (MtF), 27 percent are attracted to men, 35 percent are attracted to women and 38 percent are attracted to men and women. Bockting, 2008.
  • Among female-to-male transgender people (FtM), 10 percent are attracted to men, 55 percent are attracted to women and 35 percent are attracted to men and women. Bockting, 2008.

Vagina Size

The average vagina measures 62.7 mm with a relatively large range (40.8–95 mm) and the width of the vagina varies along its length. The position of the cervix, marking the end of the vagina, can also vary at different points in a woman’s cycle or pregnancy.

Barnhart, K. T., Izquierdo, A., & Pretorious, E. (2006). Baseline dimensions of the human vagina.

The answer, statisticians say, ought to be the same, on average, for any large group of men and women. But most surveys in the United States, the United Kingdom and other nations find that men report two-to-four times as many sexual partners as do women.

Are men lying to inflate their sexual reputations? Are women lying to downplay their sexual experience?

I would like to hear you guys thoughts on this and if any of you have the heart to be honest. Our first blog experiment!!

How many people have you really had sex with?

Take Test

477 Responses to HOW Many Have Had Sex by Age 21?

  1. Avatar cheap bookmarking service
    cheap bookmarking service says:

    Dl3Rmm Great, thanks for sharing this article.Much thanks again. Cool.

  2. All of you Should Listen to this Image before you make up or even if your not making up your stories. Sex is not Real Love.

    Make her feel like a Princess not a Whore.

  3. over 70…. i am late 20′s female.

  4. Okay you have put in some work,
    what percentage would you say was worth the experience?

  5. good question. I would say about half were truly fun and ‘worth it’. The rest were learning experiences. That number also includes about 10 women. I have had quite a few one night stands and many people who’s names I never knew. I’m much more chill now but I went through a couple of wild years.

  6. Great answer but what did you actually learn? And the experiences with women were out of curiosity or just plain fun? Explain..

  7. I learned what I did or did not like and enjoy. I learned that size DOES matter. I learned how to tell if a guy was pushy or disrespectful before actually getting naked with him. I learned how to give the best head on the planet. I also learned that getting to know someone before having sex generally makes it more fun. Jumping around just means you have to learn someone new each time and while that can be exciting, it doesn’t make for great sex. I learned that many guys have no idea how to please a woman.
    The chicks were because I am attracted to women as well. I’m just very picky about what women I sleep with because they tend to be more clingy and full of drama.

  8. When a potential partner asks you how many partners? What do you say?
    Don’t you think being totally honest might turn someone off?

  9. I am rarely asked that question but I dread the day that I am ready to settle down and my potential husband asks me… I’m not sure what I would say. I don’t know what is considered normal anymore. I have NO DOUBT that giving an honest number to anyone who hasn’t had the same lifestyle could end a relationship. It’s scary.

  10. Well you must be a fine specimen for you to have so many lovers, or is it your liberal attitude toward sex that makes you desirable?
    Or is it both?
    Are you totally anonymous?

  11. I am not a super model but I am above average. Very comfortable with myself and my body. Very open minded and easy to get along with. I am told by many that there is something very intriguing about me. *shrug* I’m not cocky or anything; just honest and a lot of fun.
    What do you mean by “totally anonymous”?

  12. Anything I leave as far as email or networking would be too much information. I don’t know anything about this site or who runs it so I’m definitely not leaving it here 😉
    I keep my sex life as far separate from my ‘real’ life as possible.

  13. No problem, I totally understand!!!
    Do a little bit of research and you can see who runs the site!!!
    Glad you come here we appreciate the love we get from the readers.
    We are launching a bunch of new stuff in the coming days and weeks.
    Oh yeah check out our videos at

  14. I haven’t done much poking around but I plan to check out the site more. I found this site when I did a google search on number of sex partners. I’m curious about what is considered a ‘normal’ number by most people.

  15. The time stamp here is 4 hours ahead of (or 20 behind) me. Where are you located?

    Brooklyn, NY of course!!

  16. Okay.
    I think alot of people may be curious also though they may not admit.
    I will adding more stories like this to see people’s reaction.
    Yes please check out some of our other stories we like to cover evrything humanely possible that is interesting.
    Got any ideas?

  17. The time stamp here is 4 hours ahead of (or 20 behind) me. Where are you located?

  18. Brooklyn, NY of course!!

  19. Well I thought NY but the time stamp threw me off.

  20. 100?

    You have been busy!!!

  21. 200+ played lead guitar in a rock band in the 80′s. STD free.

  22. 112, 15 since january 1st is this a bad thing? 24 y/o male canada

  23. hey girl with 70 plus that’s the same way i found this site haha i thought i was above average…and i’m definatly not the pushy type and i try my best to please the young lady before pleasing my self love eating pussy@!
    112 std free@!

  24. I think aroud 50 but I have had long term relationships for the most part. I also got it on with my best friends two sisters when they were 25 and 27 in the family hot tub. Both really hot girls, a little weird now though.

  25. I am in mid 40′s and could not give an exact number but certainly must be close to if not over 300.

  26. Iam a 21 year old male been sexually active since I was 16 and over them past 5 years I have had 12 girls to date

  27. Iam a 21 year old male been sexually active since I was 16 and over them past 5 years I have had 12 girls to date that I had Intercourse with ps. it me again Iforgot to add that last part

  28. im 18 yr old girl and ive slept with 27men, would that seriously put ppl off?

  29. 23 y/o female–55 men

  30. I am 21 years young couldnt sleep….besides tonight im usually thinking to myself that 16 guys is a lot for me being that I used to be so modest and now since Ive seperated from my husband it seems I get infatuated with someone and then it just doesnt work or fit my life then the tally just goes up and its awful…. so I try not to forget who all that I have been with atleast knowing their names helps me to feel a little better…. when Im done I shread the list it would be horrible if someone found it and realized what it was so every once and a while I tally it up on paper again and again “good news is my first was by my ex-husband who is my sons father” atleast I can say that. I feel like Ive been toooo does hurt me to be told that im great at head and creative in bed by most because (number 1)I love sex (number 2)those kinda things make me want to jump to show off what ive been told right off and it makes me anxious where as usually in the past I would wait months and get to know the person….it kinda sux but I dont feel so bad I guess it can be a good thing you just have to keep yourself and others safe = ]

  31. hmmm pfft lol wheres the “FORUM” I wonder? = ].

  32. I had sex with almost 200 ladies between 1963-2007. They were not hookers.

  33. 378 34 year old male