A new health report found that the number of teens engaging in oral sex has dropped between 2002 and 2010.
The report, "Prevalence and Timing of Oral Sex With Opposite-Sex Partners Among Females and Males Aged 15-24 Years: United States," was conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, a division of the Center for Disease Control.
The vast drop in oral sex was mostly found among females, while the number of males engaging in the act remained the same. The study also found a drop in vaginal intercourse among adolescents.
Experts report that two-thirds of all teens ages 15 to 24 admit to having experienced oral sex, an act that the federal government views as a contributor to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
The report also included information from the CDC’s National Survey of Family Growth. Researchers interviewed over 6,000 youths for the study between 2007 and 2010.
In the youngest group containing teens ages 15 to 19, 41 percent of females and 47 percent of males admitted to receiving oral sex. Within the same group, 43 percent of the girls said they’ve given oral sex while 35 percent of the boys had.
The numbers increased for teens ages 20 to 24 in which 81 percent of females and 80 percent of males had experienced oral sex.
According to a 2009 CDC fact sheet, many teens revealed that they felt safe and comfortable engaging in oral sex as a way to preserve their virginity.
The report came as a result of the CDC’s interest in the rise of sexual transmitted diseases especially HIV among males ages 13 to 29.
Although the likelihood of contracting HIV from oral sex is lower than vaginal and anal sex, experts are concerned about the infection rates of other STD’s such as gonorrhea, genital herpes, and syphilis.
Some studies have even concluded that the rise of oral cancers in the United States such as the human papillomavirus may be a result of the popularity of oral sex.
The NCHS report also found that 5.1 percent of female teens and 6.5 percent of male teens did not progress past oral sex. The majority of surveyed teens ages 15 to 24 continued on to have vaginal intercourse. This disputes previous studies that claimed oral sex was a strong detector for engaging in sexual intercourse.