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The status of sexuality in America is full of myth, value judgments, and misinformation.  One does not have to look far to conclude that the landscape is strewn with human wreckage (often multi-generational) caused by unhealthy behaviors or ignorance in this most human of activity.

The following is a brief summary of documented statistics which set the frame for the success stories which follow.  Since “success” in this arena has many definitions, after the summary of the current state of (dare we say it…), we will present our editorial bias so as to minimize conflicts.

The United States has a population of approximately 306 million.[1] Regarding the population that one might choose to attempt intervening with, roughly 26 million  are under 9[2].  Another 35 million are over 65 [3] (we know, these cut off points represents a value judgment, but cut us some slack, ok?).

This leaves a population of roughly 265 million which might be described as a “target population” for various programs designed to change or influence behavior in a more positive direction.  Many would argue that children under our arbitrary cut off age should be subject to various kinds of education so as to shape their behavior as they mature.  We will publish documented success stories in such programs.

Of the population of 306 million, 51% are defined by the census as female, and 49% male. [4] Census definitions are usually descriptions of a bodies plumbing, not hormones.  According to the National Survey of Family Growth, 4.1% of Americans aged 18-45 identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. [5] Some estimates place that number as high as 8%. [6]

The majority of Americans , particularly those in committed relationship, report themselves to be sexually satisfied.[7]

Fewer teens are having sex today than 10 to 15 years ago.  The percentage of teens who have ever had sex declined between 1991 and 2007, from 54% to 48%, and the percentage of teens who had sex recently (in the last 3 months) declined from 38% in 1991 to 35% in 2007.[8]

 

Approximately 15% to 25% of women and 5% to 15% of men were sexually abused when they were children.[9]


In the United States, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men report experiencing rape in their lifetime.[10]

Being sexually active with a non monogamous is a risky business! [11] Of the 265 million people we are focused on here, roughly 1 in 3 is living with a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)

  • More than half of all people will have an STD/STI at some point in their lifetime.
  • Every year, there are at least 19 million new cases of STDs/STIs, some of which are curable.
  • Each year, one in four teens contracts an STD/STI.
  • One in two sexually active persons will contact an STD/STI by age 25.

Our editorial bias: We are against sex being practiced with unwilling partners, incest, when the sexuality breaks some form of contract or interpersonal agreement  such a marriage or committed relationships, regardless of gender(s) involved and/or when one party is lacking in life experience or mental capacity sufficient to judge risk.

We will attempt to publicize programs which modify behavior in the target population in such a way that it reduces risk, reduces unwilling participation, and postpones the age of first experience in the uninitiated.  We will also report programs which experience success in managing the fallout for people who did not receive, or did not follow, the messages success programs produce.



[1][1] http://www.census.gov/population/www/popclockus.html

[2] http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/men_women_2006.html

[3] ibid

[4] http://www.statehealthfacts.org/profileind.jsp?rgn=1&ind=5&cat=1

[5] According to the National Survey of Family Growth, 4.1% of Americans aged 18-45 identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual (Other estimates have varied depending on methodology and timing; see Demographics of sexual orientation for a list of studies.)

[6] Ibid.

[7] The handbook of sexuality in close relationships

By John H. Harvey, Amy Wenzel, Susan Sprecher

Published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004

[8] http://www.childtrends.org/Files/Child-Trends-2008_08_13_FS_TeenSexQuiz.pdf

[9] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_sexual_abuse

[10] http://www.cdc.gov/Features/SexualViolence/

[11] http://www.ashastd.org/learn/learn_statistics.cfm

 

Note http://magazine.jhsph.edu/2008/Spring/age/generation_sex/?page=2 has some success stories