Sex in America: A Definitive Survey

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For the first time ever, Sex in America reveals the myth-shattering results of the only comprehensive and methodologically sound survey of America's sexual practices and beliefs. In 1992, highly regarded social scientists Robert T. Michael, John H. Gagnon, and Edward O. Laumann embarked on an unprecedented study of America's sex life. Working through the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, their staff of 220 interviewers spent seven months interviewing 3,432 scientifically selected ...
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Overview

For the first time ever, Sex in America reveals the myth-shattering results of the only comprehensive and methodologically sound survey of America's sexual practices and beliefs. In 1992, highly regarded social scientists Robert T. Michael, John H. Gagnon, and Edward O. Laumann embarked on an unprecedented study of America's sex life. Working through the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, their staff of 220 interviewers spent seven months interviewing 3,432 scientifically selected respondents about all aspects of their sex lives, histories, and beliefs. More important, unlike the famous but inherently flawed reports of Alfred Kinsey, Redbook and Playboy magazines, Shere Hite, Samuel and Cynthia Janus, and others, this survey relied on a random sample of Americans rather than on an unrepresentative group of volunteers. The resulting data reveal not just what we do sexually but how society shapes even our most private sexual experiences. They show not just why we are the way we are, but what it might take to change this behavior. Sure to arouse considerable controversy, the survey directly contradicts many of the conclusions of previous reports and defies widely held conventional wisdom about America's sexual practices and beliefs, with startling revelations about how often people have sex, how many partners they have, and where they meet them; the likelihood that the AIDS epidemic will spread into the heterosexual population; what people like to do in bed; how many Americans are homosexual; the incidence of forced sex; and why some people are more satisfied with their sex lives than others. After years of misleading statistics and unsubstantiated claims, Sex in America presents a comprehensive, reliable look at America's collective sex life, the definitive word on American sexuality today.

In 1992 a group of respected social scientists embarked on an unprecedented $1.7 million survey of American sexual practices. Unlike previous surveys, this new study was methodologically sound, relying on a random selection of respondants and using lengthy, in-person interviews. Here are the myth-shattering results of that revealing survey.

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Editorial Reviews

Ray Olson
Embargoed until the day--October 10--the press announced its overall findings, this is the popular report of the most authoritative study ever of sexual behavior in the U.S. (A companion report, "The Social Organization of Sexuality" [Univ. of Chicago, $49.95, 0-226-46957-3], is addressed to social scientists, counselors, and health professionals.) Its most startling conclusion is that most Americans don't "do it" as much as the media and such previous surveys as Kinsey"'s have made us think. First explaining why this study accurately represents the entire U.S. population in its target age-range (18-59) and why the information gleaned from its respondents is credible, the smoothly edited text presents findings in 11 fields of inquiry: who our sex partners are, how we find them, how many of them we have, how often we have sex, how prevalent particular sexual practices and preferences are among us, how much we masturbate and use erotica and what we think of these things, how many of us have experienced homosexual feelings and behavior and how frequently, how many and what kinds of persons among us have ever contracted sexually transmitted diseases, how many and what kinds of persons among us have contracted the AIDS virus, how many have experienced forced sex, and how social attitudes correlate with the prevalences of certain kinds of sexual behavior. To say this is all fascinating is understatement, but to say it's at all scandalous is ridiculous. Instead, many will find it reassuringly commonsensical. They'll discover that their own sex lives are pretty normal and that if somebody else is making out like bandits, they're not enjoying it as much as Mr. and Mrs. John Doe. What a relief!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316075244
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 10/28/1994
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 6.37 (w) x 9.52 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 Sex in America 1
Ch. 2 The Sex Survey 15
Ch. 3 Who Are Our Sex Partners? 42
Ch. 4 Finding a Partner 67
Ch. 5 How Many Sex Partners Do We Have? 88
Ch. 6 How Often Do Americans Have Sex? 111
Ch. 7 Practices and Preferences 132
Ch. 8 Masturbation and Erotica 155
Ch. 9 Homosexual Partners 169
Ch. 10 Sexually Transmitted Diseases 184
Ch. 11 AIDS 199
Ch. 12 Forced Sex 219
Ch. 13 Sex and Society 230
Appendix A: A Graphic Representation of Survey Participants 247
Appendix B: The Sex Questionnaire 249
Index 291
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