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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
UNITED STATES: Sexual Timetables for Oral-Genital, Vaginal, and Anal Intercourse: Sociodemographic Comparisons in a Nationally Representative Sample of Adolescents
Carolyn Tucker Halpern, PhD; Abigail A. Haydon, PhD, MPH
July 10, 2012
American Journal of Public Health Vol. 102; No. 6: P. 1221-1228 (06..12)

The prevalence and relative timing of oral-genital, vaginal, and anal intercourse during adolescence were documented by the authors, who also assessed whether these timetables varied by sociodemographic factors. The researchers used data from nearly 14,000 Wave IV respondents to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to create prevalence estimates for adolescents who reached age 18 by 2001; the sociodemographic correlates of sexual patterns were evaluated using logistic and ordinary least squares regression. The results showed that one in five teens did not engage in any of these sexual activities by age 18. Vaginal or oral-genital sexual activity was reported by more than two-thirds; however, only about half had participated in both. Anal intercourse was reported by one in 10. Within a one-year period, a third initiated two or more behaviors. Vaginal intercourse was more often initiated first in longer timetables. “Most sociodemographic characteristics examined were uniquely associated with prevalence and sexual timing,” the authors wrote. “Diversity in patterns of sexual initiation occurring in the 1990s underscores the ongoing need for comprehensive and nuanced examinations of adolescent sexual trajectories and their implications for sexual health in more recent cohorts,” the researchers concluded.