Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Weird Spin on Teen Sex Data

The Washington Post this morning, and every other newspaper in the country, had an article reporting on a re-analysis of some data, showing that teens who practice abstinence do not -- repeat, do not -- use oral sex a way to preserve their "technical virginity."

Interesting ...
Contrary to widespread belief, teenagers do not appear to commonly engage in oral sex as a way to preserve their virginity, according to the first study to examine the question nationally.

The analysis of a federal survey of more than 2,200 males and females aged 15 to 19, released yesterday, found that more than half reported having had oral sex. But those who described themselves as virgins were far less likely to say they had tried it than those who had had intercourse.

"There's a popular perception that teens are engaging in serial oral sex as a strategy to avoid vaginal intercourse," said Rachel Jones of the Guttmacher Institute, a private, nonprofit research organization based in New York, who helped do the study. "Our research suggests that's a misperception."

Instead, the study found that teens tend to become sexually active in many ways at about the same time. For example, although only one in four teenage virgins had engaged in oral sex, within six months after their first intercourse more than four out of five adolescents reported having oral sex. A Debunking on Teenagers and 'Technical Virginity'

This is weird. Let me rephrase part of what they just said:
One teenaged virgin in four has practiced oral sex.

The subtitle of this Post article is "Researchers Find That Oral Sex Isn't Commonplace Among Young People Who Avoid Intercourse."

It seems like there is a question about what "commonplace" means.

Here, let's look at the American Bible Society's population data, just to keep it interesting. Extrapolating from known data, they estimated that in 2006 there were 34.6 million teenagers in the US. Say half of them have had sex, we hear that number sometimes. That leaves 17.3 million virgins in the country. A fourth of them have practiced oral sex. That's a little more than 4.3 million virgin teenagers who have had oral sex.

Is a behavior practiced by 4.3 million teenagers "commonplace," or not? I guess I would say yes, that is commonplace. If 4.3 million teenagers bought the same CD it would be Number One. But the newspapers all agree that it's not.

Let me point out that we actually hear that half of teenagers have had sex by the time they graduate from high school. If you consider the number of teens who have not reached that age yet, you see that the 4.3 million actually underestimates the number of teenage virgins. I'm just figuring with ballpark estimates here, of course, and not going back to the original study. The fact is, a big bunch of teenage virgins practice oral sex, more than 4.3 million.

Now, if does appear to be a fact that once a teen has gone all the way they will try other things as well. That fact though is irrelevant to the question at hand, whether those who claim to be virgins are having oral sex in order to maintain their "technical virginity." And these data do show that millions of teens are doing that, having oral and not vaginal sex.

Here's how the spin works:
Proponents of sex-education programs that focus on abstinence said the findings debunked the criticism that the approach was inadvertently prompting more teens to have oral sex, which still carries the risk of sexually transmitted disease, in order to preserve their virginity.

"This study . . . invalidates the suggestion that 'technical virgins' account for the rise in oral and anal sex," said Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association. "Sexually experienced teens were almost four times more likely to engage in oral sex and 20 times more likely to engage in anal sex than their peers who were virgins."

If anything, the findings support the need to encourage more teens to delay sexual activity of all kinds, she said.

OK, I'll buy it, the "technical virgins" do not account for the rise in oral and anal (I suppose, no data given here) sex; more non-virgins do those things than virgins.

But that wasn't the question, the headlines aren't about what accounts for the rise in oral sex in teens. The headlines are saying that teens do not practice oral sex to remain virgins -- and millions of them do.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Understandably, you avoid the pertinent question:

Does participation in abstinence programs simply lead to a substitution of oral sex for vaginal, as TTFers have repeatedly claimed, or were TTFers lying?

Multiple choice, two possible responses.

May 20, 2008 1:29 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, please show us where we said that participating in abstinence programs leads to a substitute of oral sex for vaginal, and we'll go from there.


May 20, 2008 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
How about we ignore Anon?

May 20, 2008 3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anon, please show us where we said that participating in abstinence programs leads to a substitute of oral sex for vaginal, and we'll go from there."

Very cagey, Jim.

I'll do you one better: please deny that TTFers have said just that and we'll go from there.

Andreary is probably right on this one. You'd do better to simply ignore it than to complicate things for yourself by lying about your lying.

Of course, you could always admit you lied but expecting you to do that is probably unrealistic.

May 20, 2008 3:25 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

No, Anon, you came here and called us liars, and I have searched the site and do not find any such statement. If we didn't say it then we're not liars. The burden is on you.


May 20, 2008 3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still so full of hate, AnonFreak.

Strange thing is... I have been praying every night for you to just love yourself and stop pushing your burden of insecurities on others, making them suffer with you.

I wish Jesus would smile upon you as I know he does me. Sad, sad, sad.

May 20, 2008 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not the one lying about kids who try to stay abstinent until marriage, Dricksnot.

May 20, 2008 5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just knew this posting would bring out the loonies again! Sigh!!
At least and at last "Anonymous" is showing his own egotistical self when he identifies as "Anon-deluxe". It's not his brain he is referring to; it's his .... pitiful and pathetic ego! And he hasn't shed his expected vitriol and eagerness to sling his usual "Dricksnot" epithets. What a ridiculous TROLL

May 20, 2008 7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, Dricksnot is the original epithetist.

Let's give credit where credit is due!

May 20, 2008 8:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I just knew this posting would bring out the loonies again! Sigh!!"

I know what you mean. The brilliant anon-deluxe made an offhand comment yesterday on the previous post which the head loonie, Jim, responded to by writing this post and suddenly the whole gang of TTF loonies is back in action again. Seems like anon-deluxe is the only one who can spur any conversation around here.

"And he hasn't shed his expected vitriol and eagerness to sling his usual "Dricksnot" epithets."

Usual? Search the blog and see how many times Dricksnot has used the term "AnonFreak" and how many times any anon has used the term "Dricksnot". Let us know what the ration is. I'm guessing 1000 to 1.

May 21, 2008 5:56 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, this post was not a reaction to any comment by anybody here.


May 21, 2008 6:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's because DERRICK is my REAL name, AnonFreak. I know that Anon/Anonymous/Anon-Deluxe are not your real names... But, to be honest, everyone, I hardly care what AnonFreak calls me. I'm rubber and he's glue... whatever he says bounces off of me and sticks to him (to go down to his childish level, anyway).


May 21, 2008 3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There you go again, Dricksnot.

No one will feel sorry for you when you get what give. Try to be polite and you'll have a better chance of receiving the same.

May 21, 2008 6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop whining, AnonFreak.

I could care less what you have to say; you've shown your hands for what they truly are over and over and over again on this blog:

-NOT factual
-NOT scientific
-just plain pathetic

Oh, well.

May 21, 2008 7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Governor O'Malley stood up to the religious right and announced he would sign the two domestic partnership bills into law. They will provide all unmarried couples, including same gender couples, with hospital visitation and medical decision making rights as well as make it easier and much cheaper to add a partner to a real estate deed.

The actual signing ceremony will be on Thursday (May 22) at 10AM in the Senate Office Building. The State House is closed for renovations.

May 21, 2008 7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


High school LGBT and allied youth in VA, MD and DC are invited to

May 24, Saturday

2nd Annual "It's A Prom"


8th Annual "Passing the Torch"

prom and honors dinner in Arlington.

Go to www.novayouth.org

for registration information

(attendees must preregister).


May 22, 2008 1:04 PM  

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