Sex and Drugs in America: New Details
CDC Tracks Sexual Behavior and Use of Cocaine and Other Street Drugs in U.S. Adults
WebMD News Archive
June 22, 2007 -- The CDC today released its latest facts and figures on sex
and drug use in the U.S.
The report shows that only 4% of adults over 20 have never had sex, and more
than 20% of adults aged 20-59 have ever tried cocaine or other street
Data came from more than 6,200 civilians aged 20-59 who took part in
government health surveys conducted nationwide from 1999 to 2002.
Using an anonymous computerized system, participants answered questions
about their sex lives and drug use.
The resulting report, "Drug Use and Sexual Behaviors Reported by Adults,
United States, 1999-2002," is posted on the CDC's web site.
About 96% of participants reported ever having vaginal, oral, or anal
Those in their 20s were the least likely to have had sex, with 9% of adults
in that age range saying they had never had sex.
Of all racial and ethnic groups, Mexican-Americans had the lowest percentage
-- 88% -- of adults who reported ever having sex.
According to the report, most adults -- 41% -- said they had sex for the
first time when they were 15-17 years old. Fifteen percent said they first
had sex before age 15.
Younger adults were more likely to say they first had sex before age 15,
compared with older generations.
Number of Sex Partners
Participants were also asked how many sex partners of the opposite sex they
had ever had.
Men typically reported having seven female sexual partners in their
lifetime. About 16% of men said they had one or fewer female sexual partners,
34% reported having had two to six female sexual partners, 20% said they'd had
seven to 14 female sexual partners, and nearly 30% said they'd had 15 or more
female sexual partners.
Women reported having four male sex partners in their lifetime. One in four
women reported having one or fewer male sexual partners, 44% reported having
two to six male sexual partners, 21% said they'd had seven to 14 male sexual
partners, and 9% said they'd had at least 15 male sex partners.
The men's sex and women's sex statistics also show that about 17% of men
said they'd had at least two sexual partners in the last year, compared with
10% of women.
The data don't include participants' number of same-sex partners.
Cocaine, Street Drug Use
The report tracked use of cocaine (including crack or freebase) and other
illicit drugs not including marijuana.
Overall, 21% of participants said they had ever tried cocaine or other
street drugs, and about 5% said they had done so in the past year.
The oldest participants -- those in their 50s -- were the least likely to
report having used cocaine or other street drugs in the past year or at any
time in their lives.
About 12% of adults in their 50s said they had ever tried cocaine or street
drugs, compared with nearly 32% of people in their 40s, 32% of those in their
30s, and 24% of those in their 20s.