National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior
The National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior is a study of human sexual behavior conducted in the United States by the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University in Bloomington. Articles based on the study were first released in a supplement to the October, 2010 issue of Journal of Sexual Medicine.
The survey, of about 6,000 subjects between the age of 14 and 94, living in the United States, showed a wide variety of sexual behavior. According to Debby Herbenick, PhD, of Indiana University in Bloomington, "Adult men and women rarely engage in just one sex act when they have sex."
Significant findings include use of condoms in about 25% of instances of vaginal sex by adults, about 33% if they were single, with teenagers using condoms 70 to 80% of the time. Only a low level of sexual activity among the approximately 800 teenagers surveyed was found with incidence increasing with age. It was discovered that about one third of women reported pain during intercourse. A discrepancy was discovered between men's perception that their female partner had experienced orgasm, about 85%, and women's self-reporting of 64%.
The studies were sponsored by Church and Dwight maker of Trojan condoms. The sponsor offered input with respect to gathering information regarding use of condoms, settling with a formulation which requested information on whether condoms were used or not during the last 10 sexual encounters of each respondent.
With respect to condom use results were encouraging especially with respect to teenagers. Ethnic populations impacted by HIV/AIDS showed a higher rate of use than then general population as did dating adults. Discrepancies remain between the level of use optimal for public health and reported rate of use particularly by people over 40.
Women reported less satisfaction with sexual activity than men with less pleasure, less arousal, and fewer orgasms. This was hypothesized by one of the researchers as being related to the greater incidence of pain also reported by women.
- "Sex in the U.S.: Survey Finds 'Enormous Diversity'" article by Michael Smith, North American Correspondent, MedPage Today, October 04, 2010, reviewed by Adam J. Carinci, MD; Instructor, Harvard Medical School, accessed October 4, 2010
- Center for Sexual Health Promotion
- National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior Website (includes free download of the special issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine)
- The Journal of Sexual Medicine
- "Condom Use Is Highest for Young, Study Finds" article by Roni Caryn Rabin in The New York Times October 4, 2010
- "Sex in America" season 2, episode 4 of "Curiosity" on Discovery which documentary presents the results of this study.