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  • Dr Phil March 5, 2018 – “From Fearless Secret Service Special Agent To Being Trapped In A Troubled Marriage

    Dr Phil March 5, 2018 – “From Fearless Secret Service Special Agent To Being Trapped In A Troubled Marriage”

    Sam, a former U.S. Secret Service Agent, claims her husband, Steve, is destroying their marriage and tearing apart their family with his rage.

    Sam says Steve is constantly spewing his anger at their 10-year-old son. Steve admits he gets frustrated and curses but says he is not the only one. He says Sam also has rage issues, but she thinks it’s OK. Dr. Phil sent Transformational Coach Lisa Nichols to meet with Steve and Sam at their home. Find out what she discovered about the family’s interactions. Can Sam and Steve put aside their resentment and save their 16-year marriage? Find out what Dr. Phil has to say to them.


  • Dr Phil March 2, 2018 – A Woman Terrified of Food … And What Happened to Se*y Vegan?

    Dr Phil March 2, 2018 – A Woman Terrified of Food … And What Happened to Se*y Vegan?

    Vanessa says she’s “knocking on death’s door.” She says she’s physically and mentally afraid of food, weighs only 90 pounds, and is convinced if she eats most foods she will choke and die. Her husband, Michael, says he’s at his wits’ end because Vanessa is slowly killing herself.

    Michael says he wants her to seek help now. Can Dr. Phil help Vanessa before it’s too late?

    And who can forget Se*y Vegan? Viewers first met Se*y three months ago when he moonwalked across Dr. Phil’s stage, verbally abused his mother, and disrespected the audience. Dr. Phil was forced to get security to escort Se*y off stage. Today, Se*y is back. Will he apologize for his behavior?


  • HOW Many Have Had Sex by Age 21?

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    Fully 96 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 and 59 have had sex, according to a new sex study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, a branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    While only 4 percent of U.S. adults are virgins, the rest have engaged in some kind of sex, including oral and anal sex. And by the time they reach age 21, fully 85 percent have had sex. In addition, a stunning 20 percent have tried hard drugs, such as cocaine or crack. This is the first time researchers looked only at sexual behavior and drug use.
    Here are some of the eye-popping results:
    • Among blacks, 28 percent report having first sex before the age of 15, compared with 14 percent of whites.
    • 15 percent of all adults abstained from sex until they were 21.
    • 17 percent of men and 10 percent of women said they had two or more sexual partners in the past year.
    • 46 percent of black men said they have had 15 or more sexual partners in their lifetime.
    • For all men, the median number of sexual partners is 6.8.
    • For all women, the median number of sexual partners is 3.7.
    • The younger a person is, the more likely he or she is to have had multiple partners.
    • Overall, only 11 percent of unmarried adults are virgins.
    • Mexican-Americans are the most likely to report never having had any form of sex with 24 percent of men and 45 percent of women in this group claiming to be virgins.
    • More than 19 percent of those ages 20 to 29 said they have tried cocaine, crack or another street drug, excluding marijuana, compared with 27 percent for those in their 30s, 26 percent for those in their 40s and 9.6 percent for those in their 50s.
    What bothers researchers the most is how young so many people are when they start having sex. “We still have a public health problem in that we still see a lot of adults reporting their sexual debut at a pretty young age,” Dr. Kathryn Porter of the National Center for Health Statistics, who led the survey of more than 6,237 people ages 20 to 59, told Reuters. “That is an area of concern because risky sexual behaviors can result in sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies.”
    Unlike other surveys where people may be too embarrassed to be truthful, the researchers believe they have created one of the most honest assessments yet of sexual behavior and drug use because they used a new method to do the research. Each participant answered the questions in complete privacy in a computer-assisted self-interview using a headset and computer touch screen. This is the first time this technique has ever been used.
    –From the Editors at Netscape
     
    Continue reading  Post ID 91570
    Continue reading  Post ID 91570


  • Women reveal how many men they have REALLY had sex with – how do YOU compare?

    HAVE you had as many sexual partners as the average woman? These ladies have revealed how many men they have really slept with. How do you compare?

    Sex news: Women have revealed the number of men they have REALLY slept with
    Many believe there is a stigma that surrounds the number of sexual partners that a woman has had. That was certainly the case for a Reddit user named ’sara-ndipity’ who asked women to reveal how many men they have really bedded.
    “Ladies, how many people have you slept with? Is your number closer to what’s considered socially acceptable, or is it higher?” she asked on the website.
    Women candidly revealed the number of men they have had sex with.
    One women even divulged that she had bedded over 100 men, and had slept with 75 of those by the time she was 19. Many women admitted they had lost count, or simply couldn’t remember their exact figure
    Many women admitted they had lost count, or simply couldn’t remember their exact figure.
    “I’ve slept with maybe a dozen guys (sorry, I have a horrible memory). I confess I never thought about whether it’s socially acceptable,” one woman wrote.
    Another said
    “I don’t know. I stopped counting around 30, and that was like nine years ago.”
    A 33 year-old woman said
    “I stopped counting once I turned 30. I had something between 30 and 40 by age 25, the majority of which I got from the ages of 17 to 21.”When it comes to playing with sex toys in the bedroom, most lovers (68%) actually don’t use them. Whereas, slipping into some sexy lingerie seemed to be more common with 38% trying to shake things up that way
    “I’m a 23 year-old woman and I have slept 32 people,” another woman revealed.
    A few ladies disclosed they had slept with a more conservative amount of men.
    One 22 year-old said
    “My number is three. The first was a boyfriend and the last two were/are friends with benefits situations.”
    An older woman, who was turning 50, had also slept with three people.
    he revealed they were
    “A high school boyfriend, a college girlfriend, and my husband (we met in college too).”
    The woman claimed social expectations never mattered to her, adding
    “I never really worried about a number or whether or not it was socially acceptable.”
    Some women lamented that they had not had sex with more men, as they felt they might have missed out.
    “I am 47 and I have been with five men,” one woman said.
    The majority of women felt absolutely so shame or stigma about the number of men they had slept with
    “I wish I had been more open to the many, many overtures made my way when I was younger.
    “I am currently married now and I will probably never have sex with anyone else which makes me sad, not because I wish I could make love to someone other than my husband, but because I fear I possibly missed out on some wonderful experiences.”
    The vast majority of women said they felt absolutely so shame or stigma about the number of men they had slept with – and were happy with their choices.
    “I’m 29 and I’ve slept with 10 guys,” one woman said.
    “I’m proud of my number, but I’d be proud no matter the number because I’ve wanted to have sex with each of those people and I’ve enjoyed it pretty much every single time.”
    A recent survey has revealed how much time we really spend in-between the sheets.
    The average person spends 117 days of their life doing the deed, according to the survey.
    That makes up 0.45 per cent of our lives, according to sports brand Reebok.
     


  • Have I Had an Average Number of Sexual Partners?

     

    Is there any truth to the old stereotype of dividing a man’s number by three?
    How many people have you slept with? It’s a question which can send a chill down many a spine for the very reason that there’s no ideal answer.
    People tend to feel especially awkward when this issue comes up in conversation with their current partner. There can be a real fear of being judged for being ‘inexperienced’ or ‘promiscuous’, which can lead to a tendency to either exaggerate or play down the truth.
    There’s an unreliable formula which is to be taken with a pinch of salt and assumes dishonesty on all fronts
    some people say that whatever number a woman gives you should multiply it by three to get the real answer, and whatever number a man claims you should divide it by three. However, this idea does make the point that it might be tempting to massage the truth to this effect when as a society we too often still praise men who sleep with multiple partners for ‘playing the field’ yet label women who do the same as ‘easy’ or ‘slutty’.
    When this question comes up between couples in the counselling room, Relate therapists explore all the potential drivers for asking a partner this question. For example, the person may simply be asking for reasons relating to sexual health, which is a perfectly valid reason to want to know a partner’s sexual history. Other times it may be a case of feeling insecure or even wanting to brag or compete.
    We see many people in sex therapy sessions who are concerned they aren’t ‘good’ at sex because of their ‘limited’ number of sexual partners.  If this is you, bear in mind that you can have multiple one night stands and not learn as much as you do in a forty year relationship with one person where you’ve understood what makes each other tick and how to satisfy you both sexually. That’s not to say you won’t pick up tips from a variety of partners either – it really comes down to luck of the draw and what you take from each experience.
    So what’s the average number of sexual partners? Of course, mathematically speaking, this number does exist – although it depends largely on which survey you look at. According to the 2010 Health Survey for England, the mean number of sexual partners is 9.3 for men and 4.7 for women.  However, the 2013 National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal) found the mean to be 11.7 for men and 7.7 for women. Last week Slate also offered a sexual history calculator to see how you compare to peers your age.
    Relate’s  2014 The Way We Are Now report found that 31% of men and 21% of women had slept with more than ten people in their lifetime. Perhaps due to more liberal attitudes and number of years sexually active, the number of sexual partners people reported over a lifetime peaked among those aged 35-44 years, with over a fifth of this age group reporting 20 or more sexual partners. In contrast, just 9% of people aged 65+ reported having 20 or more sexual partners during their lifetime.  This no doubt goes hand in hand with the way society is changing. A few decades ago, many hotels would only take bookings from married couples and sex before marriage was frowned upon. Nowadays, cohabiting is very much a part of our social fabric and casual dating with multiple partners is increasingly common.

    Despite these cultural shifts, 8% of people who responded to Relate’s survey reported that they’ve never had a sexual partner. A further 17% said that they’ve had only one sexual partner. Women were slightly more likely than men to report no or one sexual partner (26% vs 23%), although the largest gender differences were found among those who’d had sex with over 20 people (8% of women vs 16% of men).
    We always say at Relate that there’s no such thing as ‘normal’.  What one person may regard as an average or low number of sexual partners, another may consider shockingly high.  Eyebrows were raised when Nick Clegg alluded to sleeping with ‘no more than 30’ people, but compared to Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall who’s widely reported to have slept with over 1000 women, the former Lib Dem leader’s figure somewhat pales into insignificance.
    The point is that our personal take on what’s ‘normal’ is shaped by our own widely varying experiences and values. What it comes down to in the end is personal choice. Some people, for example, never want a sexual partner but are well acquainted with their vibrators, others want a different partner every night of the week and some experiment for a time and settle with one person.  As long as you’re practising safe sexand considering the feelings of others, it’s really down to you and only you as to how many people you sleep with.
    Whatever your magic number, try not be too hard on yourself, or compare yourself to your friends, partners or societal expectations.  It’s not a competition or a trial for that matter – it’s your sexual history so feel free to leave it in the past where it belongs.


  • Revealed: The amount of sex you should be having according to your age group (so how does YOUR love life measure up?)

     

    • Study conducted by Kinsey Institute for research in Sex, Reproduction & Gender
    • Found that age is a key predictor for regularity of sex
    • People under 30 typically have sex twice a week, and it’s 1.6 times in your 30s
    • Those aged 40 to 50 have sex an average of less than once a week  

    Whether the fire of passion is well and truly burning in your relationship, or you only manage intimacy, you’ve probably found yourself wondering if the regularity of your sex life is ‘normal’.

    Now you can find out, thanks to a study from the Kinsey Institute for research in Sex, Reproduction and Gender which has been recirculated, according to Medical Daily.

    Researchers found that you can tell how your sex life measures up to others, according to your age, which is one of the main predictors for how often you get intimate with your partner.

    It will probably be no surprise that younger people are having the most action with those aged 18 to 29 having sex an average of 112 times a year, or twice weekly. A study conducted by Kinsey Institute for research in Sex, Reproduction and Gender found that age is a key predictor of how often you’re likely to be having sex

    Between the ages of 30 and 39, it drops to 86 times annually or 1.6 times a week.

    And sexual activity tails off even further for 40 to 49-year-olds have half the amount of sex of their 20-something counterparts, making love 69 times a year.

    ‘The basic storyline that has emerged from these studies is that, as we get older, our odds of developing chronic health conditions increases and this, in turn, negatively impacts the frequency and quality of sexual activity,’ Dr. Justin Lehmiller of the Kinsey Institute explained.

    HOW DOES YOUR SEX LIFE MEASURE UP?

    18 – 29 years

    30-39 years

    40-49 years

    Twice a week

    1.6 times a week

    Less than once a week

    Surprisingly, the study did not go beyond those in their 50s and beyond, which appears to back up separate research which found that sexuality among older people is largely ignored.

    Researchers from the University of Manchester analysed written comment from more than a thousand adults aged 50 to 90 to highlighted the obstacles some older couples face in maintaining and fulfilling their sexual lives.

    Many were reporting signs of anxiety as doctors refused to address their drop in sexual desire or physical difficulties, they found.

    Men were discovered to be more likely to discuss the impact of health conditions on their sexual activities.

    Researchers found that, unsurprisingly, 18 to 19-year-olds are most active between the sheets, having sex twice a week on average

    Heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes are all causes of impotence among men.

    But women had a higher chance of discussing health-related sexual difficulties in the context of a relationship.

    Experts recommend practitioners should positively engage with issues of sexual function – regardless of age.

    They believe proactively talking about their issues will help to improve both health and well-being in older patients.

     

     

     

  • How Many Sexual Partners Is “Normal” in Your 20s?

    Our sex and relationships columnist explains why he hates the word “normal.”

    Just how many sexual partners is “normal” for a girl to have in her 20s?
    For statistics on sexual behavior, you can check out the Kinsey Institute’s research here or try this calculator here. But I’d advise that you skip all that. Because it doesn’t matter.

    You see, there actually is no “normal” sexual behavior. (And there’s no natural sexual behavior either.) The word “normal” is useless because, at best, it only represents a statistical mean, averaging out all behavior into one flat number that might not be relevant to your life at all. It’s like saying the normal family has 1.6 kids. Nobody has six-tenths of a kid. Nobody has the exact same sex life. No one person is ever normal. No one person needs to be.

    If it’s not clear yet, I really hate the word “normal” when it’s applied to sex. Here’s the reason: When we hear the word “normal” in a public conversation about sex, its meaning isn’t mathematical. It’s judgmental. The word is typically used in some attempt to judge, shame, or control someone else’s expectations. That’s why you hear it when homophobes say gay sex isn’t “normal,” or when misogynists say a woman is a slut because she has more than a “normal” amount of sex.

    Fuck normal. Everyone’s life is different. The amount of sex you have in your 20s shouldn’t be based on a statistic. It should be based on your free will, luck, and desire — and nothing more. It should be based on your personal decision about what’s right for you — and nobody else.

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for five months, and we got together a month after I just got out of a very abusive seven-year relationship. I told him I wanted to take it slow, and he said he understood. We first had sex two months into our relationship. A month ago, he asked me to go down on him, and for some reason, I just can’t seem to do it. I don’t know what it is! I’ve done it before — I just get stage fright when I try. I must be insane, right? Now we avoid each other as much as possible because he says I’m so sexy that when he’s around me, all he can think about is blow jobs. He literally wakes up angry and comments about blow jobs all day every day. Now it’s gotten to the point that I am so turned off by his attitude that I don’t even want to try. HELP.
    You’re turned off by his attitude? You should be. Because he’s being an ass.

    Your new boyfriend might treat you better than your abusive ex-boyfriend, but he still sounds awful. You need to end this.

    I’m so glad you ended your seven-year abusive relationship. But you only had a month in between to recalibrate your sense of what’s healthy and what’s not. It sounds to me like you need some perspective: This guy sucks. A guy who wakes up angry and “comments about blow jobs all day every day” is not even remotely good boyfriend material. This is not acceptable behavior. If anything, he should be concerned for you — not selfishly making it worse.

    He’s pointing out the one thing you have trouble giving him and obsessing over it, probably because he feels that it gives him some power over you. You don’t want to be with a guy like that.

    This is not your fault. You say: “I must be insane, right?” Absolutely not. Regarding the blow-job stage fright, I wouldn’t be surprised if your body is sending you a message: You might not be able to go down on this guy because you know, deep down, that you shouldn’t be with him at all.

    You ended one abusive relationship. End this one before it gets worse.

    I’ve been dating my current boyfriend for two years, and he thought it would be cool if we took a couple’s sex questionnaire. It’s basically a way to figure out your partner’s fantasies without the awkward talk. It asks questions concerning “butt stuff,” “fetishes,” “group play,” and other topics. It asks particular questions and you either answer “no,” “if my partner is interested,” “yes,” or “we already do that.” I found out my boyfriend answered “if my partner is interested” to the question that asked, “Would you want to have a threesome with your girlfriend and another girl?” Afterward, I felt hurt because it made me think he’s unhappy with the relationship or I’m not satisfying him in the bedroom. I told him I am never interested in doing that and he said the only reason he answered that way was because he wasn’t sure what my opinion on the matter is. What is your take on this?
    “Would you be interested in a threesome if your girlfriend were into it?” If I were able to ask a million American men that one question right now, I doubt I could fill a single Chipotle with the small number of guys who’d say, “No way!”

    ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW

    Guys love the idea of threesomes, but almost no guy expects to have one. Few ever do. And no guy should demand one. But if one were suddenly offered like a free sample of frozen yogurt? I doubt I know a guy who wouldn’t want a taste.

    To most guys, a threesome is harmless fantasy, like sex on a plane. Have most guys actually joined the mile-high club? No. Is it terribly practical? Nope. But if the stars aligned, the flight patterns cooperated, and the flight attendants and Homeland Security agents looked the other way, would a whole lot of guys at least be interested? Why not?

    So don’t worry. Hypotheticals like this are more about fantasy than reality. This does not mean your boyfriend is unhappy with the relationship. It does not mean he’s bored in the bedroom either. All it means is that he’s turned on by one extremely common fantasy. He doesn’t expect you to go for it. But if you were interested, as he told you, he would be too. So long as he’s respectful of your boundaries and doesn’t press it, that’s all fine.

    It’s great that your boyfriend answered honestly. It’s healthy that he’s airing out his fantasies and that you are both being forthright about what you are (and are not) into. But here’s the trick: You don’t want your boyfriend to lie in the future because you overreacted this time. If you make a big deal about him admitting that he would be “interested” in something so common, it might scare him off from being truthful about something else later. Be firm about your limits, but don’t make this a referendum on your relationship, sexual or otherwise.

    Do you have a question for Logan about sex or relationships? Ask him here.

    Follow Logan onTwitter.


  • Sex! How do you measure up?

    This special Observer sex poll 2002 reveals all

    Sunday 27 October 2002
    The Observer

     

    Quantity and qualityHow would you define your sexuality?

    Heterosexual: 93%
    Homosexual: 3%
    Bisexual: 3%
    Don’t know: 1%

    At what age did you lose your virginity?

    Under 12 1%
    12-13 8%
    14-15 23%
    16-18 40%
    19-20 13%
    21-24 10%
    25-30 2%
    Never had sex 3%

    Men tend to lose their virginity before women, although the difference is not great (average age 16 and 17 respectively). Britons are losing their virginity younger than in the past: for over-55s the average age was 19; within the 25-34 group it was 16; and among 16-24s, 15. Londoners lose their virginity later than those living in any other area (18). In total, 32% of Britons lost their virginity before the legal age of consent of 16.

    How many sexual partners have you had?

    None 3%
    1 15%
    2 11%
    3 10%
    4 9%
    5 9%
    6-10 20%
    11-15 8%
    16-20 6%
    20+ 9%

    The average Briton has had 10 sexual partners. There is a distinct gender split with the average among men almost double that of women (13 and 7 respectively). The 35-44 age group is the most promiscuous (average of 13) while over-65s have had the least number of sexual partners (average of 5). People in Wales are the most promiscuous (13) while those in Yorkshire and Humberside have the fewest sexual partners (6). Only 23% of Britons have had more than 10 sexual partners (32% of men and 15% of women).

    Are you currently in a stable relationship?

    Yes 66%
    No 34%

    If yes, how long have you been in your current relationship?

    Less than 6 months 6%
    6 months-1 year 6%
    1-2 years 8%
    2-3 years 8%
    3-5 years 10%
    5-10 years 17%
    10-15 years 11%
    15-20 years 8%
    20-30 years 11%
    More than 30 years 15%

    66% of UK adults are currently in a stable relationship. Even within the youngest age group (16-24) 49% are in a stable relationship. The average length of relationships is just under 13 years. Unsurprisingly, there is a correlation between age and length of relationship,but even among the relatively young (25-34) the average time in their current relationship is 5.3 years.

    How many times a month do you have sex?

    None 23%
    1-5 26%
    6-10 27%
    11-15 10%
    16-20 7%
    21-25 2%
    26-30 2%
    31+ 3%

    The average Briton has sex eight times a month, although this figure does include the 23% of Britons who do not have any sex in an average month.

    Are you happy with your sex life?

    Yes 71%
    No 29%

    Despite having sex less frequently, married Britons are happier with their sex lives than singles (84% and 64% respectively). Among those in a stable relationship, 85% are happy with their sex life.

    How would you rate your sex drive?

    Very high (5) 22%
    High 27%
    Average 32%
    Low 10%
    Very low (1) 9%

    Mean rating of sex drive: 3.44

    How would you rate your performance?

    Very good lover (5) 23%
    Good 33%
    Average 39%
    Poor 4%
    Very poor lover (1) 1%

    Mean rating of performance: 3.72

    And the performance of your most recent partner?

    Very good lover (5) 31%
    Good 27%
    Average 33%
    Poor 5%
    Very poor lover (1) 4%

    Mean rating of recent partner: 3.76

    Those aged 16-24 have the greatest sex drive (30% are ‘very high’) while each successive age group has a lower sex drive. Among over-65s only 9% have a ‘very high’ sex drive. Interestingly, singles are almost twice as likely to have a ‘very high’ sex drive as married people (31% and 16% respectively) suggesting familiarity breeds boredom and, eventually, lack of interest.

    Britons consider themselves good lovers. A mere 1% consider themselves ‘very poor’. It may be youthful bravado or sheer exuberance but the age group most likely to consider themselves ‘very good’ lovers are 16-24 (30%). Single Britons are more likely to consider themselves good lovers than their married counterparts: 30% of singles consider themselves ‘very good’ lovers compared to 17% of married people (those who are married are likely to consider themselves ‘average’ – 47%).

    Levels of sexual satisfaction seem fairly high, with 58% rating their most recent sexual partner as either a ‘good’ or ‘very good’ lover (27% and 31% respectively). Perhaps surprisingly, women are more likely to be satisfied with the performance of their most recent lover than men: 63% of women rated performance as ‘good’ compared to 54% of men.

    Are you happy with the size of your penis?

    Yes 77%
    No 23%

    Almost 1 in 4 men (23%) is unhappy with the size of his penis. Men aged 35-44 are most likely to worry about penis size (29%) but such concerns do not diminish with age as 26% of over-65s are also unhappy.

    Have you ever used sex aids (such as sex toys)?

    Yes 42%
    No 58%

    Britons aged 25-34 are most likely to have used sex aids (54%), but there is a distinct drop off among the over-45s group. However, there is little gender difference.

    Fidelity

    Have you ever been unfaithful to your current partner?

    Yes 18%
    No 82%

    Which of the following best describes how frequently you have been unfaithful? (asked of those who have been unfaithful)

    Only once 33%
    Rarely 25%
    Occasionally 27%
    Regularly 15%

    Men are more likely to have been unfaithful than women (22% and 13% respectively). Londoners are the least likely to cheat (7%) while the Scottish are most likely to be unfaithful (34%).

    The majority of those who have been unfaithful to their current partner have cheated on more than one occasion. Only 33% of those who have been unfaithful to their partner say infidelity occurred ‘only once’. Women are more likely to have strayed on just one occasion – 40% of women who have been unfaithful say it has only happened once compared to 29% of men.

    Have you ever been unfaithful with a friend of your partner or someone known to your partner? (asked of those who have been unfaithful)

    Yes 45%
    No 55%

    Proving that the source of trouble is often close to home, 45% of those who have cheated have been unfaithful with someone who is either a friend of their partner or known to their partner. There is little difference between the genders in this respect with 47% of men and 41% of women cheating with someone who is known to their partner.

    To the best of your knowledge, has your current partner ever been unfaithful to you?

    Yes 11%
    No 76%
    Don’t know 13%

    11% of people in a stable relationship believe their current partner has cheated on them while a further 13% are unsure. Suggesting that we tend to judge others by our own standards of behaviour, 25% of those who have been unfaithful themselves also believe their partner has been unfaithful. 26% are unsure.

    Have you ever had a one-night stand?

    Yes 51%
    No 49%

    Have you ever slept with someone whose name you did not know?

    Yes 21%
    No 79%

    63% of men and 39% of women have had one-night stands. Those living in the North are most likely to have done so (64%). 35% of men and only 8% of women have slept with someone whose name they did not know. The age group most likely to have done this is 25-34 (33%).

    Do you believe monogamy is natural?

    Yes 74%
    No 26%

    Do you believe monogamy is desirable?

    Yes 83%
    No 17%

    Britons believe in monogamy, though among those who have cheated on their current partner, only 32% believe monogamy is natural and 52% believe monogamy is desirable. Once again there is a distinct gender split with 68% of men and 80% of women viewing monogamy as natural. However, the gender gap is less pronounced in terms of viewing monogamy as desirable (79% of men and 86% of women). Older Britons are significantly more likely to consider monogamy both natural and desirable: 84% of over-65s consider monogamy natural and 91% consider it desirable.

    Of the different components of a marriage/relationship, which of the following do you think most important?

    Trust 59%
    Conversation/communication 20%
    Sex 7%
    Humour 6%
    Equality 5%
    Money 3%

    Britons are overwhelmingly of the opinion that the most important aspect of a successful relationship is trust. Sex was considered the third most important aspect but was selected by only 7%. However, men are more than twice as likely as women to consider it the most important aspect of a relationship, and age makes a significant difference. As people get older, they are less likely to consider sex important. Singles are also more than twice as likely to consider sex the most important aspect of a relationship (12% and 5% respectively).

    Is it possible to maintain a happy marriage/relationship without sex?

    Yes 49%
    No 51%

    It appears fair to suggest that many of those holding this view have had personal experience of a sexless relationship. Women are more likely to believe a happy relationship can be maintained without sex (55% compared to 42%). 55% of married Britons believe sex is not necessary to maintain a happy relationship while only 35% of singles concur.

    Do you have any close friends of the opposite sex?

    Yes 78%
    No 22%

    Younger Britons are more likely to have close friends of the opposite sex, and men are slightly more likely to have close female friends than vice versa (81% and 73% respectively).

    Are you sexually attracted to your close friends of the opposite sex? (asked of all who answered yes to the above)

    Yes, all of them 2%
    Yes, some of them 48%
    No 50%

    Men are more likely than women to be sexually attracted to friends of the opposite sex: 65% are attracted to at least some of their female friends while the same is true of only 35% of women in relation to male friends.

    At work

    Have you ever had sex with a work colleague?

    Yes 31%
    No 69%

    Have you ever had sex in your place of work?

    Yes, with a work colleague 15%
    Yes, with someone who didn’t work there 5%
    No 80%

    Would you ever sleep with someone to further your career?

    Yes 18%
    No 82%

    Men are more likely than women to have had sex with their work colleagues (39% and 23% respectively) and are almost three times as likely to have had sex in their place of work (28% and 10% respectively).

    Considering the large proportion who would consider having sex for money it comes as no surprise that 18% of Britons would sleep with someone if they felt it would enhance their career prospects. Men are significantly more likely to make this ‘sacrifice’ for the sake of their career (31% against 7%). While singles are almost three times as likely to use sex to enhance their career prospects, 10% of married Britons would do the same. It is the young and ambitious, as opposed to the middle-aged and settled who are more prepared to sleep their way to the top. Almost 1 in 3 of the 16-24 age group (31%) would have sex to further their career. 33% of those who have previously slept with a work colleague would have sex to further their career, raising the suspicion that there may have been an ulterior motive to some of their previous exploits.

    Paying for it

    Have you ever visited a prostitute?

    Yes 8%
    No 92%

    Would you ever consider paying for sex? (asked of those who said no to the above)

    Yes 7%
    No 93%

    Would you consider having sex for money if the amount offered was large enough? (asked of everybody)

    Yes, definitely 22%
    Yes, would consider it 19%
    No 59%

    Should prostitution be legalised?

    Yes 61%
    No 39%

    15% of all men have visited a prostitute; the same is true of 1% of women. The use of prostitutes is not limited to the single and lonely as 6% of married Britons have visited one. The 35-44 age group is most likely to have visited a prostitute (10%). Londoners are most likely to have visited a prostitute (13%).

    Among Britons who have not previously visited a prostitute, 7% would consider doing so: 15% of men who have not visited a prostitute would consider it in the future, meaning that 30% of all British men have either previously visited a prostitute or would consider doing so.

    In terms of selling sex, men are more than twice as likely as women to sell their sexual services – 37% of men would sell their services and another 20% would consider it. In comparison, only 8% of women would sell their bodies for a sufficiently large sum and a further 18% would consider it.

    A significant majority favour legalisation of prostitution. While men are more likely to favour legalisation (70%) a majority of women (53%) are also in favour. The youngest and the oldest are the only two age groups which are more likely to oppose legalisation: 54% of the 16-24 age group and 51% of the 65+ age group oppose legalisation.

    Gay

    Have you ever had sexual contact with someone of the same sex?

    Yes 11%
    No 89%

    Should gay sex be made illegal?

    Yes 23%
    No 77%

    Should same-sex couples be allowed to marry?

    Yes 50%
    No 50%

    Should same-sex couples be allowed to adopt children?

    Yes 41%
    No 59%

    Should the age of consent for homosexual sex be the same as for heterosexual sex?

    Yes 58%
    No 42%

    While only 6% classify themselves as either homosexual or bisexual, 11% say they have had sexual contact with someone of the same gender.

    The other answers reveal quite polarised views. Despite the gradual absorption of gay culture into the mainstream there remains a significant minority of Britons vehemently opposed to homosexuality. Almost 1 in 4 (23%) believe gay sex should be made illegal. What is startling about this is the support the suggestion generates across the age spectrum. While over-65s are most likely to support criminalisation of gay sex (40%), a significant proportion of the 16-24 age group concur (27%). Men are more than twice as likely as women to support this (32% and 14%). And yet a majority of Britons (58%) believe the age of consent for homosexual sex should be lowered to the same as it is for heterosexual sex.

    Half of us believe same-sex couples should be able to marry, and 41% feel they should be allowed to adopt children. In respect to all these questions women are significantly more liberal. Social class is also a determinant of opinion to some extent with ABC1 adults generally more likely than C2DE to espouse liberalism.

    Safe sex

    What form of contraception do you use?

    None, leave it to my partner 32%
    Condoms 31%
    The pill 21%
    Coil 3%
    Other 13%

    Have you ever had a sexually transmitted disease

    Yes 9%
    No 91%

    Have you ever had an HIV test?

    Yes 13%
    No 87%

    How worried are you about sexually transmitted diseases in general?

    Very 20%
    Fairly 32%
    Not particularly 22%
    Not at all 26%

    Men are more than twice as likely as women to have had an STD (13% and 6% respectively) – probably a re¤ection of the greater average number of sexual partners for men.

    Men are also more likely to have had an HIV test (16% and 10% respectively). In terms of age, the 25-44 age group is most likely to have had an STD (12%) while the 25-34 group is most likely to have been tested for HIV.

    While there is a clear correlation between levels of sexual activity and fear of disease there is still a signiÞcant minority of sexually active Britons who feel invulnerable to the threat of disease.

    Encouragingly (as it suggests they will take the necessary steps to avoid infection) it is the youngest age group (16-24) which is most concerned about STDs (69% are either ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ concerned).

    Which of the following statements is closest to your views about HIV and Aids in this country?

    Only homosexuals and intravenous drug-users are at risk from HIV 5%
    HIV presented a huge risk in the past but is now under control 7%
    Everyone is at risk from HIV if they do not take precautions 88%

    Despite fears that complacency is creeping in regarding the threat of HIV and Aids, the vast majority of Britons (89%) acknowledge that everyone is at risk from infection if they do not take the necessary precautions.

    Should the Government spend more on education and information about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases?

    Yes 86%
    No 14%

    Do you always practise safe sex with a new partner?

    Yes 70%
    No 30%

    Although 89% of us acknowledge that everyone is at risk from HIV and Aids, 30% say that they do not practise safe sex with new partners as a matter of course. Men are almost twice as likely as women to admit that they have unprotected sex with new partners (38% and 21% respectively). 16-24 year olds are least likely to have unprotected sex with new partners (21%) while over-55s are the least likely to take necessary precautions.

    Worryingly, 42% of those who have contracted an STD in the past fail to practise safe sex with new partners while the same is true of 31% who have been tested for HIV.

    Are children in school given…

    Too much information about sex 13%
    Too little information about sex 49%
    About the right amount of information about sex 38%

    Those most likely to hold the view that schoolchildren are given insufÞcient information are those who have had the most recent personal experience of sex education: 65% of the 16-24 age group believe children should be taught more.

    Each successive age group is then more likely to think children are given too much sex education at school.

    A sample of 1027 UK adults were interviewed by ICM Research in August 2002. Participants completed a confidential questionnnaire, placed in a sealed envelope. Innterviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults.

     

    Sex Uncovered: Observer special
    Sex Uncovered: Observer special

    Way in
    27.10.2002: Tim Adams: What happened to romance?

    The poll
    Four million of us are sex cheats
    27.10.2002: Pol results: How do you measure up?

    The history
    27.10.2002: 50 years of opening up 1952-2002

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    27.10.2002: There’s gold in them there pills…

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    A date with hate

    The new celibates
    27.10.2002: Just say no

    Getting personal
    27.10.2002: The ads: how far would you go?

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    27.10.2002: Early learning
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    27.10.2002: The disabled lover
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    Way out
    Don’t label me


  • Trends in Premarital Sex in the United States, 1954–2003

    Objectives

    Policy and programmatic efforts promoting sexual abstinence until marriage have increased, but it is unclear whether establishing such behavior as normative is a realistic public health goal. This study examined the proportion of individuals in various cohorts who had had premarital sex (defined as either having had vaginal intercourse before first marrying or ever having had intercourse and never having married) by various ages.

    Methods

    Data from four cycles of the National Survey of Family Growth, 1982–2002, and event history analysis techniques, including Kaplan-Meier life-table procedures and Cox proportional-hazards regression models, were used to examine the incidence of premarital sex by gender and historical cohort.

    Results

    Data from the 2002 survey indicate that by age 20, 77% of respondents had had sex, 75% had had premarital sex, and 12% had married; by age 44, 95% of respondents (94% of women, 96% of men, and 97% of those who had ever had sex) had had premarital sex. Even among those who abstained until at least age 20, 81% had had premarital sex by age 44. Among cohorts of women turning 15 between 1964 and 1993, at least 91% had had premarital sex by age 30. Among those turning 15 between 1954 and 1963, 82% had had premarital sex by age 30, and 88% had done so by age 44.

    Conclusions

    Almost all Americans have sex before marrying. These findings argue for education and interventions that provide the skills and information people need to protect themselves from unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases once they become sexually active, regardless of marital status.

    Over the past decade, increasing amounts of advocacy, funding, and programmatic effort have focused on encouraging Americans to abstain from sexual intercourse until they marry. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (i.e., welfare reform) enacted in 1996 contained a provision authorizing $50 million annually in federal funding for abstinence-until-marriage education; programs funded under the act must teach that “abstinence from sexual activity outside marriage [is] the expected standard” of behavior and that “sexual activity outside of the context of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects.” State programs funded under this authorization must have as their “exclusive purpose” the promotion of abstinence outside of marriage for people of any age. The current administration recently requested $204 million for fiscal year 2007 to fund abstinence-only education, and now requires such programs to emphasize “that the best life outcomes are more likely obtained if an individual abstains until marriage” and prohibits them from “promoting or encouraging the use of any type of contraceptives outside of marriage.” Due in part to government support, private advocacy efforts to promote abstinence until marriage are also gaining prominence and political clout.

    The primary stated goal of these efforts is to encourage all Americans to abstain from sex until they marry. It follows that such programs consider it an achievable goal to make abstinence until marriage a normative behavior. However, the median age at first marriage increased from 22.1 to 25.8 for women and from 24.4 to 27.4 for men over the past 25 years, and the proportion of the population 18 and older that had never married increased from 16% to 25% between 1970 and 2004,, suggesting that many individuals have a long interval after puberty and before marrying during which they may become sexually active. The median age at menarche is 12.6 and at spermarche is 14.0, so this interval is now typically about 13 years for both men and women. That 70% of adolescent females and 65% of adolescent males have had sex by age 19 and few have married suggests that a large percentage do so before marrying. The first goal of this analysis was to quantify current normative behavior by calculating the proportion of Americans who have had premarital sex.

    In addition, public opinion polls over the last 20 years have consistently shown that about 35% of adults say premarital sex is always or almost always wrong. (Unpublished tabulations of data from the General Social Survey, 1982–2004.) In the same vein, there is a common popular perception that most or all of those who came of age before the “sexual revolution” of the 1960s and 1970s waited until they married to have sex, and that it is necessary to revert to the behaviors of that earlier time in order to eliminate the problems of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. However, research has questioned whether such a chaste period ever existed. The second goal of the analysis was to assess whether the percentage of Americans having premarital sex has changed over time.

    Many or most abstinence-until-marriage programmatic efforts are aimed at teens. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS’s) Healthy People 2010 goals include the objective of increasing the proportion of adolescents who abstain from sexual intercourse or use condoms if sexually active, and DHHS’s parenting skills web site states that “abstaining from sex until… a mutually faithful marriage to an uninfected partner is the healthiest choice.” The third goal of this analysis was to assess whether those who abstain from sex at least until the end of their teen years are likely to abstain all the way until marriage.

    METHODS

    The primary data sources for this analysis were the four most recent cycles of the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), conducted in 1982, 1988, 1995, and 2002. The NSFG is a nationally representative, in-person survey that collects detailed information on individuals’ sexual, marital, contraceptive, and childbearing behaviors. The 1982, 1988, and 1995 NSFGs all surveyed women aged 15–44; the sample sizes were 7,969 in 1982, 8,450 in 1988, and 10,847 in 1995. The 2002 survey interviewed 7,643 women in this age range, and for the first time a sample of 4,928 men were also surveyed.

    I constructed a measure of premarital sex by combining measures of the age (in years and months) at which the respondent first had vaginal sexual intercourse (if the individual had ever had sex) and the age he or she first married (if the individual had ever married). A previously published cross-sectional analysis indicated that in the 2002 NSFG, 85% of ever-married women had had sex before they married, but this measure fails to take into account women who had never married but had already had sex. A better methodological approach (used in the current study) is event history analysis, which allows one to take into account the experience of people at all ages and of all marital statuses.

    In the current analysis, an event was defined as having sex for the first time before ever having married. Individuals whose month of first sex was earlier than their month of first marriage, or who had had sex but had not married by the time of interview, were considered to have experienced the event. Those who had had sex for the first time in the same month as (or after) their first marriage and those who had neither had sex nor married contributed their months of nonexperience of the event to the analysis and were “censored” at the time of marriage (for those who had married) or at the time of interview (for those who had not married), since they ceased to be at risk of the event at that point. I then calculated the proportion of individuals who had had premarital sex by each age, or event curves, using Kaplan-Meier life-table procedures. For comparison, I also calculated proportions for the occurrence of sex (premarital or otherwise) and marriage.

    Event curves were first calculated for all male and female respondents (together and separately) in the 2002 NSFG. To better examine change over time, I used all four rounds of the NSFG to calculate separate curves for women only by 10-year age cohort, based on the year each person turned 15 and beginning with the 1954–63 cohort. Earlier cohorts have curves that extend to older ages than later cohorts, since only individuals in the earlier cohorts have reached those later ages. Finally, in order to examine the behavior of those who abstained until at least a certain age, I calculated premarital sex proportions for the subsets of men and women in the 2002 NSFG who had not yet had sex by exact ages 15, 18, and 20.

    RESULTS

    Figure 1 shows the proportion of individuals in the 2002 survey who had had sex, had premarital sex, and married by each age; the Table contains the proportion who had had premarital sex by specific ages for all respondents and by gender, as well as the median age at first premarital sex for various subgroups. By the exact age of 20 years, 77% of individuals had had sex, and 75% had had sex before marriage; 12% had married. By exact age 44, 99% of Americans had had sex, 95% had had sex before marriage, and 85% had married. At that age, 3.3% had abstained until marriage, and 1.3% had neither married nor had sex. Thus, 97% of those who had ever had sex had done so premaritally at some point. Cox tests of equalityindicated that the likelihood of having sex at all did not differ significantly by gender. However, males were slightly more likely to have had premarital sex at virtually every age; by exact age 44, 96% of males and 94% of females had had premarital sex. Females were more likely to have married by each age, reflecting the fact that women typically marry at a younger age than men. It is important to note that although the overall marriage curve is included for comparison to the sex curves, the percent who had had premarital sex by a certain age cannot be calculated by taking the difference between the sex curve and the marriage curve at that age, because most of those who had both had sex and been married by that age had had sex first.

    Figure 1

    Percent of individuals who had had sex, had premarital sex, and married by specific ages, 2002 National Survey of Family Growth

    Figure 2 and the Table show premarital sex proportions using data from all four surveys (for women only) by 10-year cohort. The figure and table show a trend from the 1950s through the 1990s toward a higher proportion experiencing premarital sex: 48% of the cohort who turned 15 from 1954 to 1963 had done so by exact age 20, while 65% of the 1964–73 cohort, 72% of the 1974–83 cohort, and 76% of the 1984–93 cohort had done so. For the 1994–2003 cohort, 74% had had premarital sex by exact age 20, a figure between that of the 1974–83 and 1984–93 cohorts. The difference between the first cohort and subsequent ones was larger than later differences.

    Figure 2

    Percent of women who had had premarital sex by specific ages, by decade turned 15. 1982, 1988, 1995, and 2002 cycles of the National Survey of Family Growth

    Among those born in the 1940s and turning 15 from 1954 to 1963, 82% had had premarital sex by exact age 30, and 88% had done so by exact age 44; for more recent cohorts turning 15 from 1964 to 1993, at least 91% had done so by exact age 30. The youngest cohort had not yet reached age 30 by the time of the most recent survey. A Cox proportional-hazards regression model including cohort as the only predictor indicated that the first four cohorts were significantly different from each other, but that the 1984–93 and the 1994–2003 cohorts were not significantly different (not shown). Figure 2 suggests that the vast majority of those who have premarital sex have done so by age 30.

    Figure 3 and the Table show premarital sex proportions for those individuals (both male and female) in the 2002 NSFG who had not yet had sex by exact ages 15, 18, and 20. Ninety-four percent of those who abstained until at least age 15 and 89% of those who abstained until at least age 18 had had premarital sex by age 44. Even among the 28% of the population who had not had sex by age 20, 81% had had premarital sex by age 44.

    Figure 3

    Among those individuals who abstained until at least a certain age, percent who had had premarital sex by later ages, 2002 National Survey of Family Growth

    Discussion

    The results of the analysis indicate that premarital sex is highly normative behavior. Almost all individuals of both sexes have intercourse before marrying, and the proportion has been roughly similar for the past 40 years. The slight decrease between the 1984–93 and 1994–2003 cohorts was not statistically significant. The increase seen beginning with the 1964–73 cohort may be partly due to increased availability of effective contraception (in particular, the pill), which made it less likely that sex would lead to pregnancy; but even among women who were born in the 1940s, nearly nine in ten had had premarital sex by age 44. Among those who did not have sex at all during their teen years, eight in ten eventually had premarital sex.

    Premarital sex as normative behavior is not surprising in an era when men and women typically marry in their mid-to-late twenties. Indeed, not only is premarital sex nearly universal by age 30, but it is also very common at much younger ages. Evidence from the past 50 years suggests that establishing abstinence until marriage as normative behavior is a challenging policy goal. Instead, these findings argue for education and interventions that provide young people with the skills and information they need to protect themselves from unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases once they become sexually active.

    Table 1

    Percentage of various groups who had had premarital sex by specific ages, and median age at first premarital sex

    Acknowledgments

    I would like to thank Nan Astone for methodological assistance and Cynthia Dailard, Rachel Jones, Laura Lindberg, John Santelli, and Susheela Singh for reviewing drafts of this paper.

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