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Heterosexual Practices Among Young People in Britain: Evidence From Three National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles.

Lewis, R; Tanton, C; Mercer, CH; Mitchell, KR; Palmer, M; Macdowall, W; Wellings, K; (2017) Heterosexual Practices Among Young People in Britain: Evidence From Three National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles. J Adolesc Health , 61 (6) pp. 694-702. 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2017.07.004. Green open access

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Abstract

PURPOSE: To describe time trends and current patterns in sexual practices with opposite-sex partners among men and women aged 16-24 years in Britain. METHODS: Complex survey analyses of cross-sectional probability survey data from three British National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal), conducted approximately decennially 1990-2012, involving interviews with 45,199 people in total. RESULTS: Birth cohort analysis showed a decline in the median age at first sexual experience and first intercourse since the midtwentieth century and a narrowing of the interval between these events. Comparison of data from Natsals 1, 2, and 3 showed increases in the prevalence of ever experience of oral and anal sex among 16- to 24-year-olds, which were more marked among older respondents in this age group between Natsals 1 and 2, and among younger respondents between Natsals 2 and 3. Among the sexually active, vaginal and oral sex remained the most common combination of practices reported in the past year. The proportion reporting a past-year repertoire of vaginal, oral, and anal sex rose from approximately one in 10 in 1990-1991 to approximately one in four men and one in five women in 2010-2012. In the latest survey, heterosexual experience of practices was positively associated with bisexual attraction among women. CONCLUSIONS: Recent decades have seen an earlier age at initiation of partnered sexual experiences and increased diversity in heterosexual practices among young people. Keeping pace with trends in sexual practices is necessary to safeguard young people's health and to support them in increasing their sexual well-being.

Type: Article
Title: Heterosexual Practices Among Young People in Britain: Evidence From Three National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles.
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2017.07.004
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2017.07.004
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Anal intercourse, Early adulthood, Heterosexual, Oral sex, Population survey, Sexual behavior, Young people
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10039936
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