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JAMA. 1999 Jan 20;281(3):275-7.

Would you say you "had sex" if...?

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  • 1The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Indiana University, Bloomington 47405, USA.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

The current public debate regarding whether oral sex constitutes having "had sex" or sexual relations has reflected a lack of empirical data on how Americans as a population define these terms.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine which interactions individuals would consider as having "had sex."

METHODS:

A question was included in a survey conducted in 1991 that explored sexual behaviors and attitudes among a random stratified sample of 599 students representative of the undergraduate population of a state university in the Midwest.

PARTICIPANTS:

The participants originated from 29 states, including all 4 US Census Bureau geographic regions. Approximately 79% classified themselves as politically moderate to conservative.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Percentage of respondents who believed the interaction described constituted having "had sex."

RESULTS:

Individual attitudes varied regarding behaviors defined as having "had sex": 59% (95% confidence interval, 54%-63%) of respondents indicated that oral-genital contact did not constitute having "had sex" with a partner. Nineteen percent responded similarly regarding penile-anal intercourse.

CONCLUSIONS:

The findings support the view that Americans hold widely divergent opinions about what behaviors do and do not constitute having "had sex."

PMID:
9918484
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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