National Sex Survey Exposes America’s Kink

The National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, conducted by researchers from the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, is one of the most comprehensive studies on these topics in almost two decades. It includes the sexual experiences and condom-use behaviors of 5,865 adolescents and adults ages 14 to 94.

Initial findings from the survey, presented in nine separate research articles, were published on Oct. 1 in a special issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine. “This survey is one of the most expansive nationally representative studies of sexual behavior and condom use ever conducted, given the 80-year span of ages,” said Michael Reece, director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion.

Researchers believe the findings will be of interest to the general public, as well as to health professionals.

“People are often curious about others’ sex lives,” said Debby Herbenick, associate director of the CSHP. “They want to know how often men and women in different age groups have sex, the types of sex they engage in, and whether they are enjoying it or experiencing sexual difficulties. Our data provide answers to these common sex questions and demonstrate how sex has changed in the nearly 20 years since the last study of its kind.”

The survey indicates that there is enormous variability in the sexual repertoires of U.S. adults now, and adult men and women rarely engage in just one sex act when they have sex. 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.

If statistics turn you on, then go ahead and download the free Journal of Sexual Medicine PDF from Indiana University.