History of Sex Surveys: Sexual Behavior in the 1970s Part 2 Findings

About the sex survey conducted by The Research Guild Inc in the 1970s on sexual behavior, marriage, drugs, and other topics.

Survey: SEXUAL BEHAVIOR IN THE 1970s

Variety of coital techniques has increased; 6% of the married men and 11% of the single men had not used the traditional "missionary position" in the past year. Nearly 75% of the married males used the female-superior position at least occasionally.

Frequency of sexual intercourse has increased for both sexes, in every age group. The median frequency for single males between 18 and 24 who were having intercourse was 33 times a year--a definite increase over Kinsey's figures. Much more remarkable is the increase among young single females: Single females between 18 and 24 who were having intercourse were doing so with a median frequency of more than once a week. The median frequency for married people 25 or younger is about 154 times a year, compared with 130 a generation ago. Increases in older groups are proportionately even larger: The median for 35-to 44-year-old married people is about 99 times a year, and for married people beyond the mid-50s, the median has risen from 26 to 49.

Rates of orgasms for females have also increased. Seventy-five percent of the younger females who were having premarital intercourse were experiencing at least some orgasms, and the median frequency of orgasm for the single females was 3 times as high as for Kinsey's females. Among married women, orgasmic regularity was found to occur in 53%. The percentage of those who only sometimes or never have orgasm has dropped from 28 to 15.

Homosexuality is more visible, but has not increased in numbers. More than half of all women and nearly half of all men disagreed with the statement "Homosexuality is wrong."

Masturbation is more frequent among those between 25 and 30 in the single group (men and women) and also among the married. Since these same people are also having intercourse more frequently, Hunt feels that it reflects lessened guilt feelings rather than sexual hunger--that "young husbands and wives feel more at liberty than their counterparts of a generation ago to turn to masturbation whenever sexual frustration develops out of sexual or emotional conflict, unavoidable separation or abstinence caused by illness or other extrinsic factors."

Sex acts with animals are less common than in Kinsey's day; only 5% of the total male sample and 2% of the total female sample had ever had any kind of sexual contact with animals.

Sadomasochism: Only 3% of the married men and fewer than 1% of the married women, and 10% of the single men and 5% of the single women had ever performed sadistic sexual acts. Fewer than 1% of married men and 2% of married women, and 6% of single men and 10% of single women, have ever been on the masochistic end of a sadomasochistic transaction.

Mate swapping has been overpublicized and overestimated. Only 2% of the married males and less than 2% of the married females had ever participated in mate swapping.

Mutiple-partner sex: only 13% of the married males and 2% of the married females had ever engaged in such activity, and most of this took place before marriage. For the majority, there was only one such episode. Twenty-four percent of the single men and 7% of the single women had had multiple-partner sex, but 1/3 of the men and 1/2 of the women had done so only once.

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