What Do People Mean When They Say They “Had Sex”? Connecting Communication and Behavior
MetadataShow full item record
What do people mean when they say they “had sex”? The most-cited study regarding what activities are communicated as having “had sex” is now over 20 years old. This chapter provides findings from a study that replicated the original study’s methods to provide an up-to-date understanding. An Internet survey completed by 380 women and 197 men from the United States was conducted. Results show that penile-vaginal intercourse was the sexual activity most likely to count as having “had sex,” with 97.4% of participants indicating it as sex. Other common sexual activities measured include penile-anal intercourse, oral-genital contact, and manual stimulation of genitals. The findings suggest many attitudes represented in the original survey have changed. Implications and future studies are offered.