Science

No Teen Oral Sex "Epidemic" Says New CDC Study

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Not too suggestive, right?

The New York Times is reporting today a new survey done by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that undercuts the widely prevalent notion that the kids these days are engaging in oral sex as a substitute for intercourse. As the Times reports:

The popular notion that teenagers who are not ready for intercourse are experimenting with oral sex en masse is being challenged by new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Teenagers are about as likely to engage in oral sex before intercourse as they are to have intercourse first, according to the National Survey of Family Growth.

While slightly under half of 15- to 19-year-olds have had vaginal sex — 44 percent of boys, 47 percent of girls — only about 16 percent of girls and 15 percent of boys from that age group engaged in oral sex first, according to the data. An additional 7 percent of girls and 10 percent of boys reported having oral sex but never vaginal sex.

Over all, 49 percent of boys and 48 percent of girls ages 15 to 19 have engaged in oral sex, according to the data. Among the younger teenagers in the survey, the ones ages 15 to 17, those numbers drop to 38 percent for boys and 33 percent for girls.

"There's been a perception for many years that there's some kind of epidemic of oral sex among teens," said Leslie Kantor, vice president for education of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, who was not involved in the study. "If nothing else, this data provides a realistic sense of the numbers."

Rates of oral sex among teenagers have been dropping over the past 10 years, as they have been for intercourse too, according to the C.D.C. In 2002, about 55 percent of 15- to 19-year-olds reported having engaged in oral sex. Between 2006 and 2010, that number dropped to 48 percent for boys and 46 percent for girls.

Readers may enjoy perusing a classic Reason debunking of yet another moral panic from back in 2006, "The Great Fellatio Scare."

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  1. No Teen Oral Sex “Epidemic” Says New CDC Study

    Banana consumption, on the other hand…

  2. Let me see…a NY Times headline on Oral Sex or a NY Times headline on:

    “A criminal investigation into the collapse of the brokerage firm MF Global and the disappearance of about $1 billion in customer money is now heading into its final stage without charges expected against any top executives.”

    Which would be mere “cosmo” to report on – this wouldn’t happen if VP was still editor.

    1. I’m posting this as ironically as possible.

      1. The comments to this article are actually pretty good…that is they would fit right at home at hit and run:

        “Not one high level executive has been charged with a crime since the global financial meltdown. “Too big to fail” banks are bigger than ever. The 10 largest corporations paid an average tax rate of nine percent, if they paid anything at all. Drones are going to be patrolling our skies in increasing numbers in the coming years, perhaps some of them armed. Our police look more like soldiers every day and the president has declared he has the authority to imprison an American indefinitely or put them to death without a trial, anywhere in the world.

        I’m pretty sure this would all be called fascism if it happened anywhere else, certainly during the cold war years. Maybe because this is a bipartisan effort that this inconvenient truth is being swept under the rug.”

  3. only about 16 percent of girls and 15 percent of boys from that age group engaged in oral sex first,

    Huh. Didn’t realize I was that out of the ordinary.

    1. Who did you have to blow to get into that elite group?

  4. two thoughts:
    –not to date myself, but when I was younger your chances of getting laid were far greater than getting a blowjob.
    –my eldest stepdaughter, while a high school senior some years back, reported a spike in anal sex participation so girls could, technically, retain virgin status. And oral sex was a lot more common that the CDC wants to believe.

    1. “Dating” yourself eh? Don’t go blind.

    2. reported a spike in anal sex participation so girls could, technically, retain virgin status

      God bless stupid teenagers and their warped priorities.

      1. I’ve heard some of them will even let you go ass to mouth.

  5. I must have been innoculated and not known.

  6. While slightly under half of 15- to 19-year-olds have had vaginal sex ? 44 percent of boys, 47 percent of girls ? only about 16 percent of girls and 15 percent of boys from that age group engaged in oral sex first, according to the data.

    I haven’t RTFD (hee-hee), but this statement is ambiguous: “first” in the sense of “days/weeks/months prior to having vaginal for the first time”; or in the sense of “as foreplay to vaginal”.

    Also, do kids *do* know that “oral sex” is not “kissing on the mouth”, right?

  7. Here’s my biggest problem about these surveys: I doubt the veracity of the respondents. I’m pretty far removed from being 15, but I dimly recall that if some random adult from government started asking me about my sex life, I wouldn’t have given them straight answers.

    1. I wouldn’t have given them straight answers.

      You’d have given them gay answers?

    2. No kidding, “Not only do I not have sex, I do not even beat off or drink alcohol” would have been my answer.

    3. That’s my reaction to those things as well. Teenagers, honest about their sex lives, especially to “some random adult from government”? That’ll happen when unicorns fly overhead pissing Dom P?rignon and shitting Godiva, and not a microsecond before.

  8. Wait, did I miss something? We don’t want teenagers blowing each other? Because when I was in high school I blew almost all the guys I dated and never fucked anyone. And since I have a taste(ha!) for the nerdy-types, I was always the first girl they ever touched, so no STD worries. Really, it was a perfect system.

    1. when I was in high school I blew almost all the guys I dated

      OHAI

  9. Don’t tell Time.

  10. A teen oral sex epidemic would be like a free cocaine epidemic. Too awesome to exist.

    1. Replicators, dude. Which is why ST:TNG was completely unbelievable. They could make anything in the universe and they weren’t having cocaine fueled orgies on the holodeck all the fucking time.

      1. Just like they never went to the bathroom.

  11. Wait, so the data for this study tells us that more than half of the fucking 20 year olds in this country are virgins and no one questions the veracity of the data?

    If you told me that only 45% of 14 – 17 year olds had reported having had sex I might buy it but I think I can pretty accurately say that somewhere near half of the entire population loses their virginity sometime between their 17th and 19th birthdays.

    Honestly I would be shocked if more than 25% of 19 year olds were still virgins, forget over 50% and it is a pretty good bet that around half of that 25% ain’t voluntarily abstaining either.

    1. Maybe the curve is steep, so that 15 year olds are well below 45% and 19 year olds are well above, so the whole group averages to 45.

  12. Government involved in “science”, I have never seen anything good come of it. Science gets politicized all on its own it doesn’t need the state involved too. As for Warty’s dream universe I agree with the “veracity of survey data is suspect” argument.

  13. Oh, great… Next the CDC is gonna tell me that the “married thirty-something oral sex epidemic” is also a myth. Fuck.

  14. Sexual contact? I thought this was supposed to be a blog about topics that concern libertarians.

    1. Troll-o-meter: 0.001

      hth

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