Attitudes Toward Sex Display Little Difference between Genders, Study Confirms

In the twenty-first century, one might easily assume that what was once taboo has become much more approachable. Long gone are the days of Victorian mores and social norms, which advocated modesty—while those principles still hold true in some parts of the world, for the largest proportion of the Western world, we live in a vastly liberal society, where sex is concerned, at least. However, all of the above is mere conjecture and speculation based on anecdotal evidence until science gets to weight in. the June 2011 of the Sexuality and You report has a thing or two to explain about our peers’ attitudes on sexuality. Read on to find out what the world at large thinks about sex, according to several major research reports

Masturbation is no longer a sin, is it?

As recently as until the 1960s, prevalent religious norms held masturbation to be regarded as a sin. With this acumen came so-called medical recommendations against the act. However, this is clearly no longer the case, as society has become largely more accepting of the act over the past few decades. According to a 2009 research report by Hyde, Delameter and Byers, the number of people who believe there is absolutely nothing wrong with masturbation has increased by a large number. A subsequent analysis undertaken in 2011, at the level of meta-data, concluded that men and women are now largely equal, when it comes to attitudes regarding self-pleasure: the margin of difference between the two genders stood at .02. Nowadays, sex toy retailers such as Babeland offer their customer base educational material on the health benefits of the act, beyond accessories for pleasure, and this, too, is likely to have played a factor in reshaping mind-frames.

At what age are people losing their virginity?

Unsurprisingly, the average age at which people engage in their first bout of sexual intercourse has dropped substantially from the 1960s until today. In fact, the bulk of that drop took place before the 1990s – and it’s interesting to note that this applies to both men and women. An analysis of average age of first intercourse performed in 1993 noted that men were somewhat more precocious in losing their virginity. However, by 2010, researchers Petersen and Hyde, realized that the margin of difference among genders has narrowed down from .38 in 1993 to .20 in 2010. According to data collected in 2005 through the Canadian Community Health Survey, 43 per cent of Canadian males ages fifteen to nineteen had had sex, with the same percentage valid for women, as well.

What’s the deal with oral pleasure?

This is perhaps one of the most surprising findings discussed in the Canadian research report. While public perception on oral sex has altered to a great extent from the sexual revolution of the 1960s onward, it is still largely believed that men get the most oral action. Men seem to ask for it more, which apparently would warrant them to get more oral sex, as well as to have a more relaxed attitude toward it. However, the data collected from reality would indicate otherwise. It seems there is no actual difference between men and women, when it comes to interest in oral sexual activities. Two studies completed in consecutive years (Petersen and Hyde, 2010 and 2011) found that the difference margin in terms of experience with oral by gender was a meager .06. What’s more, the situation seems to be balanced enough according to a study undertaken in the US as well. A 2010 poll indicated that 58.5 per cent of teenage women (ages 15 to 19) had performed oral sex on a male partner over the previous year, while 58.0 per cent had received oral sex from a male partner over the same span of time.

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