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Study Highlights U.S. Adult and Adolescent Sexual Behaviors

Last Updated: October 04, 2010.

 

Finds substantial variability in behaviors; highlights condom use in those aged 14 to 94

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Initial findings from the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, published in nine separate research articles in a special October issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, highlight the sexual behaviors and condom use of U.S. adolescents and adults.

MONDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Initial findings from the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB), published in nine separate research articles in a special October issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, highlight the sexual behaviors and condom use of U.S. adolescents and adults.

The NSSHB was conducted by researchers from the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University's School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation in Bloomington, and was used to document the sexual experiences and condom-use behaviors of 5,865 adolescents and adults aged 14 to 94.

The survey revealed that one of four acts of vaginal intercourse in the United States is condom protected, with one in three among singles being so. According to the survey, condom use is higher among black and Hispanic Americans compared to white Americans and those from other racial groups, with the lowest rates of condom use among adults over 40 years of age. The researchers also found substantial variability in the sexual repertoires of U.S. adults, with both adult men and women rarely engaging in just one sex act when they have sex. In addition, they report that most U.S. adolescents are not engaging in partnered sexual behavior at any given point in time.

"Many surveys of adolescent sexual behavior create an impression that adolescents are becoming sexually active at younger ages, and that most teens are sexually active," Dennis Fortenberry, M.D., who led the adolescent aspects of the study, said in a statement. "Our data show that partnered sexual behaviors are important but by no means pervasive aspects of adolescents' lives. In fact, many contemporary adolescents are being responsible by abstaining or by using condoms when having sex."

The survey was funded by Church & Dwight Co. Inc., which manufactures Trojan brand condoms.

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