The New York Times covers a recent study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that shows slightly less than half of teens aged 15–19 engaging in either vaginal or oral sex:
“There’s been a perception for many years that there’s some kind of epidemic of oral sex among teens,” said Leslie Kantor, vice president for education of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, who was not involved in the study. “If nothing else, this data provides a realistic sense of the numbers.”
This cautious celebration seems out of place to people with more traditional morals. While I firmly believe pre-marital sex is not the end of the world, it’s also not the spiritual ideal. Also, though I don’t have children, I’m guessing most people—Christian or not—don’t want their 17-year-olds to be sexually active yet.
More encouragingly, the study reveals that the numbers for teens engaging in oral sex are going down and that for the most part, kids are starting to engage in oral sex about the same time they begin vaginal intercourse. Dr. John Santelli of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health thinks this is because they’re performing both acts with the same partner:
“I think what kids do is get involved in a relationship,” he said, “then at some point decide they’re ready to initiate vaginal sex, then probably engage in a whole repertoire of behaviors with that same partner.”