I was feeling a little sad about how few invitations I received to rainbow parties as a tween. Then the Guttmacher Institute reminded me that they don't exist.
Contrary to widespread belief, teenagers do not appear to commonly engage in oral sex as a way to preserve their virginity, according to the first study to examine the question nationally.
The analysis of a federal survey of more than 2,200 males and females aged 15 to 19, released yesterday, found that more than half reported having had oral sex. But those who described themselves as virgins were far less likely to say they had tried it than those who had had intercourse.
"There's a popular perception that teens are engaging in serial oral sex as a strategy to avoid vaginal intercourse," said Rachel Jones of the Guttmacher Institute, a private, nonprofit research organization based in New York, who helped do the study. "Our research suggests that's a misperception."
I'm going to blame Miley Cyrus for this, though I'm not convinced this study says anything revelatory. Twenty-three percent of virgin teens say they've had oral sex. Is that a "scourge" of technical virginity? If so, well, bring on the requisite Laura Sessions Stepp column. If not, I don't know what she and Suzanne Fields are going to write about from now on, but maybe the dire lack of oral sex among virgin teens will lead to a resurgence of cutting and robotripping.