The male-female orgasm gap. The sex lives of 14-year-olds. An intriguing breakdown of condom usage rates, by age and ethnicity, with teens emerging as more safe-sex-conscious than boomers.
That's just a tiny sampling of the data being unveiled Monday in what the researchers say is the largest, most comprehensive national survey of Americans' sexual behavior since 1994.
Filling 130 pages of a special issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the study offers detailed findings on how often Americans have sex, with whom, and how they respond. In all, 5,865 people, ranging in age from 14 to 94, participated in the survey.
The lead researchers, from Indiana University's Center for Sexual ...view middle of the document...
She noted there was a gap in perceptions — 85 percent of the men said their latest sexual partner had an orgasm, while only 64 percent of the women reported having an orgasm in their most recent sexual event.
One-third of women experienced genital pain during their most recent sex, compared to 5 percent of men, said Herbenick, citing this as an area warranting further study.
The study, which began taking shape in 2007, was funded by Church & Dwight Co., the manufacturer of Trojan condoms. Questions about condom usage figured prominently in the study, but the researchers — during a teleconference — insisted the integrity of their findings was not affected by the corporate tie.
Among the findings was a high rate of condom usage among 14- to 17-year-olds. Of the surveyed boys who had sexual intercourse, 79 percent reported using a condom on the most recent occasion, compared to 25 percent for all the men in the survey.
However, the sample for that particular question involved only 57 teens in the 14-to-17 age range. That's far smaller than the thousands involved in latest federal Youth Risk Behavior Survey last year which calculated condom use among sexually active high school students at 61 percent
Fortenberry nonetheless found the new findings encouraging.
"There's been a major shift among young people in the role condoms have in their sexual lives," he said. "Condoms have become normative."
Another intriguing finding — rates of condom usage among black and Hispanic men were significantly higher than for whites. The researchers said this suggested that HIV-AIDS awareness programs were now making headway in those communities, which have relatively high rates of the disease.
The lowest condom usage rates were...