Oral versus vaginal sex among adolescents: perceptions, attitudes, and behavior.
ABSTRACT Despite studies indicating that a significant proportion of adolescents are having oral sex, the focus of most empirical studies and intervention efforts concerning adolescent sexuality have focused on vaginal intercourse. This narrow focus has created a void in our understanding of adolescents' perceptions of oral sex. This study is the first to investigate adolescents' perceptions of the health, social, and emotional consequences associated with having oral sex as compared with vaginal sex, as well as whether adolescents view oral sex as more acceptable and more prevalent than vaginal sex.
Participants were 580 ethnically diverse ninth-grade adolescents (mean age: 14.54; 58% female) who participated in a longitudinal study on the relationship between risk and benefit perceptions and sexual activity. Participants completed a self-administered questionnaire that inquired about their sexual experiences and percent chance of experiencing outcomes from, attitudes toward, and perceived prevalence of oral versus vaginal sex among adolescents.
More study participants reported having had oral sex (19.6%) than vaginal sex (13.5%), and more participants intended to have oral sex in the next 6 months (31.5%) than vaginal sex (26.3%). Adolescents evaluated oral sex as significantly less risky than vaginal sex on health, social, and emotional consequences. Adolescents also believed that oral sex is more acceptable than vaginal sex for adolescents their own age in both dating and nondating situations, oral sex is less of a threat to their values and beliefs, and more of their peers will have oral sex than vaginal sex in the near future.
Given that adolescents perceive oral sex as less risky, more prevalent, and more acceptable than vaginal sex, it stands to reason that adolescents are more likely to engage in oral sex. It is important that health care providers and others who work with youths recognize adolescents' views about oral sex and broaden their clinical preventive services to include screening, counseling, and education about oral sex.
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ABSTRACT: To describe patterns of heterosexual oral sexual experience in a nationally representative sample of youth aged 15 to 21 and identify social and demographic correlates of oral sexual experience among youth who had not engaged in vaginal intercourse. Descriptive analysis and multinomial logistic regression using data from Cycle 6 of the National Survey of Family Growth, conducted in 2002. More youth with coital experience than virgin youth had oral sexual experience, and the proportion of both groups with oral sexual experience increased with age. Having received oral sex was more common than having given it, regardless of virginity status and gender. Although fewer females than males had ever-received oral sex, equal proportions of females and males had ever-given. Multivariate analyses revealed that white females were more likely than black females, and white males were more likely than black and Hispanic males to be virgins and to have had oral but not vaginal sex. Intact family structure, a college-educated mother, and no religious affiliation were associated with higher odds of oral sexual experience among virgin females, whereas intact family structure, no religious service attendance, and central city residence were associated with higher odds of oral sexual experience among virgin males. Oral sex with an opposite-gender partner is an established component of youths' initial sexual experiences, regardless of virginity status. Information on the risks of oral-genital contact should be integrated into sexual education programs targeted to youth.Journal of Adolescent Health 02/2008; 42(1):73-80. · 3.33 Impact Factor
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 02/2010; 201(3):478; author reply 478-9. · 6.41 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) remain a public health problem of major significance in most of the world. Adolescents make up about 20% of the world population, of whom 85% live in developing countries. They are at a greater risk of STIs because they frequently have unprotected intercourse, biologically may be more susceptible to infection, often are engaged in multiple monogamous relationships of limited duration, and face multiple obstacles in accessing confidential health care services. Young people who begin to have sexual intercourse in early or middle adolescence are more likely to develop an STI than those who postpone intercourse until later adolescence or adulthood. The most common STIs among adolescents are chlamydia, gonorrhea, human papillomavirus infection, and trichomoniasis. Unfortunately, lately the incidence of HIV/AIDS and syphilis among adolescents is growing. Comprehensive sex education programs in schools can increase STI knowledge and prevent risky sexual behaviors. Health care providers can promote STI prevention methods, including counseling about safe sex.Acta dermatovenerologica Croatica : ADC. 12/2010; 18(4):305-10.