Cory Silverberg at AboutSexuality recently tackled a question that we get asked pretty often: How many college students are virgins? Usually the safest answer is 'More than you think' Having said that, I wanted to share some stats that Cory pulled together in his column. The data comes with disclaimers to consider: Virginity means different things to different people beyond vaginal intercourse which Cory talks about here and we talk about a lot here, having intercourse once is different from being sexually active, every peer group is different in terms of sexual experience, the age of college students varies greatly, and statistics only mean as much as you let them mean.
Every study comes up with slightly different numbers, but a recent large scale study using a nationally representative sample of just under 14,000 US adolescents found that by the age of 18:
75% of people reported having had vaginal intercourse 67% had engaged in oral sex 11% had engaged in anal intercourse
A much smaller study which also used a nationally representative sample reported the following
31% of 16-17 year olds reported having vaginal intercourse 63% of 18-19 year olds reported having vaginal intercourse
In that study, if you consider sex to include oral sex, sexual touching, vaginal or anal intercourse, then 45% of people report having had some kind of sex by the time they are 17.
For a much more tongue-in-cheek analysis, check out Virginity by College Major.