News, Wit & Commentary for Lesbians
JIC Post:By Martha IrvineAssociated PressMore women, particularly those in their late teens and 20s, are experimenting with bisexuality or at least feel more comfortable reporting same-sex encounters, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The survey, released Thursday by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, found that 11.5 percent of women ages 18 to 44 said they have had at least one sexual experience with another woman in their lifetimes, compared with about 4 percent of women ages 18 to 59 who said the same in a comparable survey a decade earlier.For women in their late teens and 20s, the percentage rose to 14 percent in the more recent survey. About 6 percent of men in their teens and 20s said they had had at least one same-sex encounter.While those who conducted the survey took measures to protect respondents' privacy, researchers say it is unclear whether the figure for men was lower because they are more likely to avoid same-sex experiences or because they are not reporting them.The findings on bisexuality and other aspects of Americans' sexual habits were taken from the National Survey of Family Growth, which included 12,571 in-person interviews done from March 2002 to March 2003. Overall, researchers said the report shows that most people have relatively few partners and are at a low risk for sexually transmitted diseases."Instead of just anecdotes and stories that raise people's anxieties, I think it's best to have real numbers," said William Mosher, who oversaw the report. "And now we have those."In other findings, the survey said about 10 percent of females and 12 percent of males ages 15 to 19 had experienced heterosexual oral sex but not vaginal intercourse. Although no earlier data were available for young women, percentages for young men in 1992 were about the same, researchers said.Those numbers dropped substantially for people in their 20s, who were more likely to have had vaginal intercourse.The survey also revealed that 39 percent of men ages 15 to 44 who had had at least one sexual partner in the last year said they used a condom during their most recent sexual encounter. That figure rose to 65 percent for men who never had been married, and 91 percent for men who had ever had sexual contact with another man.When it comes to women and same-sex relationships, Mosher said it would be worth studying why young women seek such relationships and whether they may be trying to avoid diseases more commonly spread through sex with men.But some experts who study sexuality say it is even more likely that many college students simply see experimentation as a rite of passage.
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