Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today


Sex Stats: Just the facts, nothing but the facts.

A government report reveals what some of us do and who we do it with., used with permission.
Source:, used with permission.

More than 9,000 men and women aged 18 to 44 participated in a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services survey of sexual behavior, sexual attraction and sexual orientation. Here, for curiosity's sake only, are some of the results of that survey, released in early 2016:

95.1% of men and 92.3% of women reported being heterosexual or “straight.”

94.2% of women and 92.0% of men have had vaginal intercourse.

92.1% of men and 81.0% of women report feelings of attraction for the opposite sex only.

87.4% of men and 86.2% of women have had oral sex.

42.3% of men and 35.9% of women have had anal sex.

17.4% of women and 6.2% of men report some form of same-sex contact.*

5.5% of women and 2.0% of men reported being bisexual.

1.9% of men and 1.3% of women said they were homosexual, gay or lesbian.

1.0% of men and 0.9% of women said they did not know or would not report on their sexual orientation.

*For the purposes of this survey, contact refers to all types of sexual activity, including vaginal intercourse, oral sex, and anal sex.

Researchers sometimes use this type of information to estimate the risk of sexually-transmitted infections in different population groups and to study patterns of fertility and family formation among various groups. Since the report is free and available to the public, anyone can use this data any way they choose. This year’s report includes only data collected over a two-year period, between 2011 and 2013; stay tuned for the next report, which will cover a four year period from 2011-2015 and promises to include more details.


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Sexual behavior, sexual attraction, and sexual orientation among adults age 18-44 in the United States: data from the 2011-2013 National Survey of Family Growth. No. 88. January 7, 2016.

More from Susan McQuillan
More from Psychology Today
More from Susan McQuillan
More from Psychology Today