AMERICAN HEARTLAND—A three-year study of 600 high school students by researchers at UCSF and UC Merced has found that half of teens who have oral sex during the ninth grade will have intercourse by the end of the 11th grade, and most sexually active teenagers will begin engaging in oral sex and sexual intercourse within the same six-month period.
Currently published online by the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, the study “is the first to track teens' sexual behavior over time to determine whether oral sex increases the likelihood of having sexual intercourse or acts as a protective measure delaying the onset of further sexual activity,” according to Science Daily.
The results, according to the researchers, show that schools need to provide more comprehensive sex education to teens if they want to be more effective in preventing them from engaging in unsafe sex practices associated with riskier sex. The now-proven association between oral and vaginal sex underscores the need for a more open and honest dialogue about sexual activity.
"Health care providers, health educators and parents need to not be shy about discussing oral sex with teens," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD, a senior author of the study and a professor of pediatrics at UCSF. "I see most of the health policies out there and guidelines for preventive services talking about sex generally, but they do not specify oral sex. That is an important distinction because teens don't consider oral sex to be sex, and many are not aware of the risks involved.”
According to Science Daily, “Teens who had engaged in oral sex by the end of ninth grade were at the highest risk of having sexual intercourse during high school. They had a 25 percent chance of having intercourse by the end of ninth grade and a 50 percent chance by the end of 11th grade, with most engaging in both oral sex and intercourse during the same six-month period.”
Conversely, students who delayed having oral sex until their junior year had a 16 percent chance of having vaginal sex by the end of that year, making the first two years of high school the riskiest for students and also the most important in terms of influencing sexual behavior. That fact, warn the researchers, should not result in an unnecessary and likely ineffective overreaction by parents of younger high school students.
"We don't want parents to hear about these findings and say, 'Thanks for the information. I'm locking up my teen until graduation,'" said Anna Song, PhD, an assistant professor of psychological sciences at UC Merced and co-author of the study. "The most effective reaction is to use this knowledge to have an informed conversation with kids that addresses different types of sexual behaviors, including oral sex."
One might assume that such advice would be obvious, as would be the fact that oral sex is in fact sex, and that engaging in oral sex is likely to lead to vaginal sex, but sadly, many adults (themselves the product of generations of deficient sex education) also believe that oral sex isn’t really sex, including an ex-POTUS.
Those of us who work in adult entertainment cannot afford to be so blithely parochial. We are steeped in the knowledge that oral sex leads inexorably to sex with pygmies. It's just the way it is.