Summary: Teens Substituting Oral Sex for Intercourse

About 12 percent of males and 10 percent of females (aged 15-19) have participated in oral sex with a member of the opposite sex. A substantial proportion of teens abstaining from intercourse are placing themselves at risk for STDs by engaging in oral sex.

  • According to an article written by Rednova, a recent federal survey found that about 12 percent of males and 10 percent of females (aged 15-19) have participated in oral sex with a member of the opposite sex. The levels of oral sex seemed to be higher among white teens than among Black and Hispanic teens. One researcher noted that this may be one possible reason for the somewhat later age of first sex among white teens. According to the survey, these particular teenagers had not yet had vaginal intercourse. However, the study found that by the ages of 22-24, when most individuals have already had intercourse, those having only oral sex dropped to 3 percent, suggesting to experts that young people are using oral sex to postpone vaginal sex. Another study, conducted by Child Trends, found that almost one in four teens (or about 10% of all teens) who had not had sexual intercourse had previously engaged in oral sex. These studies show that a substantial proportion of teens abstaining from intercourse are placing themselves at risk for STDs by engaging in oral sex.1

1Oral Sex Substitutes for Intercourse With Many Teenagers, Rednova, 2004, pp. 1-3.

 

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