Monday, March 07, 2011

Virgins Up, Sluts Down

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released their periodic National Health Statistics Report on sexual behavior. The news that has been making headlines is that virginity is up. Among women 15 - 44, the percent of virgins rose from 8.6% in 2002 to 11.3% in 2008.

I was also struck by the fact that the proportion of very promiscuous women, with 15 or more lifetime sex partners, went down over the same period, from 9.2% to 8.3%.

The proportions of women with one or two lifetime sex partners were unchanged. Together they make up a third of all women.

Something similar happened among men. The virgin proportion rose from 9.6% to 11.4%, while the very promiscuous proportion dropped from 23.2% to 21.4%.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, I was kind of shocked to see the word "slut" used on your blog. It is a gendered and misogynistic insult, and it certainly has no place in academic discussion. "Promiscuous," while perhaps not as catchy as your usage of "slut" in the title, certainly makes the point accurately without belittling the people described.

Alex said...

Ditto what anonymous said. Wow - that was ugly.

p said...

I doubt anyone who has "slept" with 15 or more different partners would be thin skinned about the term "slut"

Anonymous said...

If you've been involved in trying to help someone who through coercion, dysfunction and desperation has been promiscuous, and trying to steer that person toward a healthier approach to relationships and sexuality, you would never use that term.

Alex said...

Actually, many young women who have been sexually abused end up having many sexual partners.

http://www.child-abuse-effects.com/female-victims-of-sexual-abuse.html

Dr. Weston - I think you need to reevaluate your language on this issue.

Milly said...

It's funny when Tea Party members are called tea baggers on this blog no one seems to mind.

Anonymous said...

Milly, I've never used the term "tea bagger" in my life and I find it both vulgar and silly, though I share practically nothing in common with Tea Party ideals. That said, it is absolutely not equivalent to a term that has been used to degrade and dehumanize women (and only women) for centuries.

Milly said...

Anonymous 8:14
It is sexist for you to imply that is somehow alright to degrade men.

Anonymous said...

Milly, no one is degrading men. Keep your straw men to yourself. "Slut" is a gendered term. Look it up if you are not aware of the definition (though I find that unlikely).

Anonymous said...

The liberal word police are out in force tonight. I love it.

Brett said...

Come on, "slut"? You should apologize to your readers.

Fran said...

Brett you don't speak for readers here, do you? The speech police should frighten us all.

Anonymous said...

This is NOT an issue of the scary, left-wing, language police. It is an issue of allowing language to dull our senses to what is appropriate. Slurs and hate speech can lead directly to hateful actions. If a young person is a "slut", she becomes less of a person and, therefore, easier to justify abusing sexually or performing sexual violence against. This is why we don't allow the n-word to be used in a loving, Christian society. It is dehumanizing and dangerous.

Anonymous said...

The N word has nothing to do with this topic it is brought up only to shut down discussion and debate.

Robert said...

Is anyone actually going to talk about the content of the blog? An increase in virgins, both male and female, means a decrease in those who have STDs. A decrease in the number of women who have more than 15 partners may well mean that those who have be abused by rape, incest, and other means are receiving appropriate treatment.

Is anyone else willing to move beyond the title to the content of the blog?

Kristin said...

Comment on the article? After such an embarrassing inflamatory headline? Doesn't seem to be targeted for an audience that would be mostly interested in virginity...now does it. :{ I don't think it will be picked up by "Focus on the Family". If you want to hold up some good news, don't wrap it in sh***y toilet paper!

Anonymous said...

Apparently Robert, some care more about words than people. It's sad.