Adolescents may engage in a variety of sexual behaviors, including kissing, oral sex, sex­ual intercourse, anal intercourse, and homosexual sexual behaviors.

Kissing and Petting Kissing and touching are the first sexual contact that most people have with potential sexual partners. Coles and Stokes (1985) reported that 73%

of 13-year-old girls and 60% of 13-year-old boys had kissed at least once. Because younger girls tend to date older boys, they have higher rates of these kinds of activities at earlier ages than boys do, but the differences diminish over time. For example, 20% of 13-year-old boys reported touching a girl’s breast, whereas 35% of 13-year-old girls re­ported having their breasts touched, a difference that disappears within a year or two. By age 18, about 60% of boys and girls report vaginal touching, and about 77% of boys and girls report penile touching (Coles & Stokes, 1985).

Oral Sex Today’s teens report engaging in oral sex more than sexual intercourse. It is estimated that 1 in 4 virgin teens (those who had never engaged in intercourse) be­tween the ages of 15 to 19 report having engaged in oral sex (Flanigan et al., 2005). More adolescents have had and intend on having oral sex with a partner than vaginal sex (Halpern-Felsher et al., 2005). In fact, over 50% of teens view oral sex as less risky than vaginal sex and less of a threat to their values and morals (Halpern-Felsher et al., 2005). They believe that if they limit their sexual behavior to oral sex, they are less likely to get a bad reputation or feel bad or guilty about their behavior (Halpern-Felsher et al., 2005). Female teens have argued that oral sex is something a girl can do to a boy (unlike intercourse that is described as something a boy does to a girl; Remez, 2000).

Подпись:Подпись:In any event, how much oral sex are adolescents having? The truth is that oral sex has increased in acceptance among young people. Kinsey and his colleagues (1948, 1953) reported that 17% of adolescents reported engaging in fellatio (fil-LAY-she-oh) and 11% in cunnilingus (kun-nah-LING-gus). More current research from the National Survey of Family Growth (see Chapter 2) found that among teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19, 54% of girls and 55% of boys reported having engaged in oral sex (Flanigan et al., 2005). See the accompanying Sex in Real Life, “Teenagers and Oral Sex,” for more information about these findings.

Why has the incidence of oral sex been increasing among adolescents? There are several possible reasons. First, oral sex is more prevalent and acceptable today—there is more exposure to it on television and in the media. Teenagers have also been warned