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April 13, 2010

Oral: sex?

Filed under: News,Psychology — posted by Kristine @ 8:02 am

Is it or isn’t it? In an article set to appear in the June 2010 issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, researchers found that oral sex is … not.

Only about 20% of university students participating in a 2007 survey agreed that oral-genital contact constituted sex, yet the majority believed that penile-vaginal and penile-anal intercourse did (98% and 78%, respectively)…

While I agree that demoting oral sex to, say, just “fooling around”  doesn’t quite work either, I am most disturbed by:

a) The 2 % of university students who don’t believe penile-vaginal intercourse constitutes sex, and

b) The 22% of university students who don’t believe penile-anal intercourse also constitutes sex.

Um, then…what does? Sex obviously feels good — and is, arguably, essential — to many humans of all orientations, but if we want to get biological and scientific, it is essentially about reproduction, propagating the species and all that. Therefore, one would think, college kids, who have had at least high school biology — and social lives — would be 100% certain that penile-vaginal intercourse is mostly the way that happens. The fact that even 2% of them don’t know that makes me hope there is some margin of error with the study’s statistics or there are some smart gay students who are subversively protesting the common perception of vaginal penile sex as normal. Most likely, we seriously need to revamp sex education.

Apparently, the authors of the study also suggest that sex education may be to blame for this oral “sex” business as abstinence-only education as well as more comprehensive sex education programs focus on penile-vaginal intercourse. There is indeed danger — sexually transmitted and otherwise — in disassociating oral sex from “SEXsex.” Oral sex can spread disease more easily than, say, a back rub or a hi-five. So, why don’t we, as a society, recognize that education and making facts available to our young people is the best preventative medicine for both teen pregnancy and STDs? Oh wait: because — as at least the grownups known — addressing even the matter of oral sex is, yes, talking about SEX.


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