A government survey on the sexual behavior of Americans has been released Friday with some surprising findings about what young men and women in this country prefer sexually, reports the Huffington Post. One of the most shocking findings was that fewer teens and young adults are having sex, according to the latest statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Another big trend found in the study was the prevalence of oral sex. Most teens reported having oral sex before having intercourse. While this might be positive information in regards to unplanned pregnancy, there is still risk of getting an STD if teens engage in oral sex.
"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 contributed to the study according to CNN. In reality, Chandra said, 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. The results showed that women were much more likely to have a same-sex experience, and that the more sexual partners a woman has, the more likely she is to have a same-sex encounter.
Read below to find out the seven most surprising facts from this study.
1. Abstinence is up. Researchers found that in 2002, about 22 percent of males and females between 15 and 24 reported that they had never engaged in sexual contact. But in 2006 and 2008, about 27 percent of men and 29 percent of young females reported that they never had a sexual encounter.
2. Most teens lose their virginity before the age of 17. Of the more than 24,000 15 to 24-year-olds tracked between 2007 and 2008, the majority (approximately 18,000) reported losing their virginity at age 17 or younger. Approximately 4,000 reported they had intercourse for the first time between 18 and 19, while approximately 1,600 reported losing their virginity between 20 and 24.
3. Most teens try oral sex before intercourse. The CDC said that just over 27,000 15 to 24-year-olds reported having oral sex at least once between 2007 and 2008. Of that number, 51 percent reported they had oral sex before their first vaginal intercourse experience.
4. Same-sex activity is up in women, down in men. The number of females between the age of 15 and 24 who reported some same-sex sexual behavior is up. In 2002, 12.4 percent of females said they had engaged in some form of same sex behavior; in 2006 to 2008, that figure was up to 13.4 percent. For men in the same group, however, the percentage fell. In 2002, 5 percent reported some same sex activity; between 2006 and 2008, only 4 percent did.
5. Women are more likely to have a same-sex experience. When researchers opened that same question (of same sex behavior) up to all study participants -- age 15 to 44 -- the differences were even more pronounced. Women were twice as likely to report a same-sex experience than men (about 12.5 percent versus 5.2).
6. Women with more partners are more likely to have a same-sex encounter. Women who reported having four or more sexual partners were more likely to have had a female sexual partner, when compared with women who had one (or no) male partners. In men, however, the number of female partners did not vary the likelihood of a same-sex encounter.
7. Bisexuality up in women, down in men. The number of women who reported being bisexual was up from 2002, from 2.8 percent to 3.5. In men, however, it was down -- from 1.8 percent to 1.1. Also interesting: In 2006 to 2008, women were approximately three times more likely report that they were bisexual than men.