New sex study has good news for youth and people of color but gender gap in sexual satisfaction persists

Our friends over at Indiana University are living up to Alfred Kinsey‘s legacy. Today marks the release of the largest, nationally representative sexual health survey in almost 20 years. It is also the first study to survey youth as young as 14-years-old and older people aged 96. This is a radical moment in sexual health history where research is getting a more accurate picture of the life span of our sexual experiences. And the study has some encouraging findings.

Conducted by the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, the report holds great news for youth and people of color, communities that have been framed as sexually irresponsible for far too long. Via the Baltimore Sun and The New York Times, check out these findings:

  • Condom use is higher among black and Hispanic Americans than among whites.
  • Somewhere between 70 and 80 percent of adolescents reported condom use at their most recent vaginal intercourse.
  • A vast majority of sexually active 14- to 17-year-olds — 80 percent of boys and 69 percent of girls — said they had used a condom the last time they had intercourse.

While the news about youth is pretty exciting, it’s curious that girls trail boys by 11 percentage points in condom use, considering the other findings about women and sexual satisfaction. For example, the study reports that although 85 percent of men thought their partner had an orgasm during sex, only 65 percent of women reported having an orgasm during sex. Also disheartening is that one-third of women experienced pain during intercourse compared to 5 percent of men. While more questions need to be raised to get to the bottom of the sexual satisfaction gender gap, I am glad that the public health community has some data to go on as they consider next steps for meeting the health needs of these marginalized communities.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/samll/ Sam Lindsay-Levine

    I think where you have ‘trail by 11 points’ you mean ‘lead by 11 points’ unless I’m misreading something?

    • http://feministing.com/members/vanessa/ Vanessa

      Good catch, Sam! We changed that, thanks.

  • http://feministing.com/members/athenia/ athenia

    11% are lesbians?