Sexual Habits


Sexual Habits Essay, Research Paper

How often do humans engage in sexual intercourse? There has not been any significant change in the past years; the frequency of sexual intercourse was approximately the same in both studies. The frequency of sexual intercourse and the time elapsed since the last sexual intercourse were, on an average, the same according to both studies.

Of the respondents who had had sexual intercourse (in 1992 97% and in 1971 92% of all respondents), some 40% had had sexual intercourse at least twice a week during the last month. No intercourse at all during the last month was reported by 13%.

Results on the time of the last sexual intercourse were very similar. Approximately 40% (48% of men in 1992) said that the last sexual intercourse had occurred two days ago or later, while 17% stated that at least three weeks had elapsed since their last sexual intercourse. Nearly half of humans have a very regular sex life, nearly one-fifth an occasional one, at best.

Even if the frequency of sexual intercourse has not changed, sexual activity seems nowadays to be somewhat livelier than 20 years ago in the age groups 35-54, both men and women. The coital frequency of the age cohort that was about 30 in 1971 seems to have remained approximately the same now they are 50. It has also remained the same in the cohort that is ten years older. Even if advancing age affects a person’s sex life, it does not necessarily show before the age of retirement. The coital frequency remains rather high for those who initiated their sex life earlier than others, appreciate it and have positive experiences. The age groups that adopted a positive and more liberal attitude towards sexuality in the late 60s and early 70s have continued to engage more frequently in sexual intercourse than do other groups.

Sex life is a free pleasure, highly suitable for enjoyment during a recession and during otherwise hard times. This is of course true in theory, but it is not the whole truth. A safe financial position is usually required as a basis for a satisfying sex life. Sex is a luxury product that many people can enjoy properly only when their life is otherwise in good shape.

This is suggested by the information that, according to the 1992 study, men with a large monthly income had intercourse more regularly than others. More than half of the men in the higher income brackets had engaged in intercourse during the last two days, the corresponding portion of men with low income being approximately one third. The difference is most significant among middle-aged and older men. For women, income is much less important. The wallet does not seem to be the most important erotic part of a woman, as often may be the case with men.

The explanation of the connection between income and frequency of coitus is that men earning good money get married or start cohabitation at a much younger age than do those earning less. Established relations make for a regular sex life. Why do those earning good money get married, while others do not? The pre-selection performed by women might be one reason among many others. If a man does not appear a success financially, women do not dare form a relationship with him. In the case of women, a small income does not seem an obstacle for the formation of relationships.

How great a part of the population does not have intercourse at all? Those reporting no intercourse at all were most frequently found among young and old people. In 1992 2% of people over 30 declared that they have never had intercourse. During the last five years one fifth of women between 30 and 50 and some 15% of men in the same age groups declared at least one half-year period, during which they had had no sexual intercourse. Half of the people under 25 had experienced such a period, one half or more of women of age 60 and up and of men of age 70 and up. Of retired women 47% had not engaged in intercourse for one year, the figure for men being 18%. A few (4%) only of people aged 50 or younger had been without any intercourse during the last year.

No intercourse at all during the last month was reported by 14% of men and 23% of women. The figure is strongly dependent on age: some 10% of the middle-aged did not have intercourse, but this applies to more than half of the women turned 60. The portion of elderly men having to do without intercourse is considerably smaller. Men are seldom widowed at this age, which guarantees the continuity of a more regular sex life.

According to both studies, men of 25 or older report sexual intercourse more frequently than do women, whether this is measured by frequency of sexual intercourse per month or by the time elapsed since the most recent sexual intercourse. The reason for the greater intercourse frequency of men is explained by the fact that especially older age groups include many elderly women living alone and having no, at least no regular, sexual partner.

The time elapsed since the most recent sexual intercourse was explained better by social factors in 1971 than in 1992.

According to the MC analysis, the impact of gender, age and marital status on the frequency of sexual intercourse decreased, but the impact of the use of alcohol grew. Young people and married couples still have a livelier sex life than other groups, but also older and unmarried people have sexual intercourse regularly to a greater extent than before. Partly this is a corollary of the fact that cohabitation is on the increase. Cohabiting couples have an even higher frequency of sex than married couples.

Well and less educated and those regarding religion as important or not important have intercourse equally often. The coital frequency of frequent users of alcohol is now – but was not in 1971 – higher than that of people who seldom drink. Sexual activity and repeated intake of alcohol seem to correlate better now than 20 years ago. This might be due to the fact that particularly the sexually active people have increased their intake of alcohol.


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