A new study from the Kinsey Institute finds that people are not in agreement as to what constitutes ‘having sex’.
The study was compiled from results of a random telephone survey of 204 adult men and 282 adult women ages 18 to 96. Participants were asked to explain what sexual behaviors fit the description of ‘having sex’. Researchers found no consensus on an actual description.
95% said that penile-vaginal intercourse was having sex, although 11% said it wasn’t sex if there is no ejaculation. 30% said oral sex was not having sex and 20% percent said anal intercourse was not having sex.
23% of older men - 65 and older - did not consider penile-vaginal intercourse as having sex.
Nearly half of all participants said sexual contact was not having sex as well.
A co-author of the study, Dr. William L. Yarber, said there was "a vagueness of what sex is in our culture and media.” He went on to say: “If people don't consider certain behaviors sex, they might not think sexual health messages about risk pertain to them.”
This confusion about what is and what isn’t sex makes it difficult for researchers who are working in the area of sex education and sexual health. The authors of the study said that it comes down to misclassification. “People are either incorrectly classified as having sex or incorrectly classified as not having sex.”
Info Source: The Kinsey Institute.