As the Economy Declines, So Does the Frequency of Oral Sex?

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For the empiricists, here’s some interesting extra reading:  this National Health Statistics Report on “Sexual Behavior, Sexual Attraction, and Sexual Identity in the  United States: Data from the 2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth.”  In Table 7, one learns:

In 2006-2008, 55.8% of females and 52.2% of males 15-24 years of age had performed oral sex (compared with 59.8% of females and 55.4% of males in 2002).

In 2006-2008, 59.2% of females and 61.9% of males 15-24 years of age had received oral sex (compared with 64.9% of females and 65.6% of males in 2002).

These stats comport with a popular (ok, my) anecdotal impression that females are more likely than males to perform oral sex.  But both females and males are more likely to receive oral sex than to perform it.  I was surprised to learn that women are receiving (59.2%) at a rate greater than they are performing (55.8%).  I had assumed (correctly, it appears) that men receive at a rate greater than they perform — and the delta is even greater for men than women.

I didn’t look at the underlying data, so it is difficult to parse Tables  5 and 6, providing stats for 25-44 year olds.  Among all people ages 15-44, those reporting “oral sex” contact with a member of the opposite sex (without distinction between performing and receiving):

Females reporting “oral sex”: 80.1% in 2006-2008; 82.0% in 2002.

Males reporting “oral sex”: 81.3% in 2006-2008; 83.0% in 2002

Might there be a link between declining economic conditions and the frequency of oral sex?   Any economists in the house?

-Bridget Crawford

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