Levels of sexual activity among adolescent males in the United States

F. L. Sonenstein, J. H. Pleck, L. C. Ku

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78 Scopus citations


Although three-fifths of adolescent males aged 15-19 say they have had sexual intercourse, analyses of data from the 1988 National Survey of Adolescent Males indicate that their level of sexual activity is relatively moderate. The data show that among sexually experienced young men the mean number of partners in the last 12 months is 1.9, and the mean frequency of intercourse in the last four weeks is 2.7 times. Black males have had more partners than white or Hispanic males; however, after the number of years since first intercourse are controlled for, these differences disappear. On average, sexually experienced youth spent six out of the last 12 months with no sexual partner, and only 21 percent of sexually active males had more than one partner in any month in the last year. Comparisons with 1979 data suggest that proportionately more adolescents were sexually experienced in 1988, but fewer nonblack males had first intercourse before their 15th birthday. The number of partners since first intercourse and in the past four weeks appears to have decreased, as has the frequency of intercourse in the last four weeks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-167
Number of pages6
JournalFamily Planning Perspectives
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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