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For Young People, Sexual Trends Have Changed

Anal sex appears to be more common nowadays. In 1990-1991, 11% of the men and 13% of the women said they had had anal sex at least once in their lives. In 2010-2012, the figures were 29% for both groups.

When considering the median ages of first sexual experiences (like kissing) and first intercourse, the researchers went back even further. In the 1930s, both men and women had their first experiences around age 16 (median age). First intercourse happened around age 19 for men and age 20 for women.

By the 1990s, men and women were about 14 (median age) when they had their first sexual experiences and 16 at their first intercourse.

Learning more about sexual trends can help healthcare professionals educate young people about safe sex, consent, and communication, the researchers said.

The study was published in December 2017 in the Journal of Adolescent Health.


Journal of Adolescent Health

Lewis, Ruth, PhD, et al.

“Heterosexual Practices Among Young People in Britain: Evidence From Three National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles”

(December 2017)

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