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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Using data from the — National Survey of Family Growth, we found that lifetime of vaginal sex partners is positively associated with the of sex partners in the past 12 months and negatively associated with age at first vaginal intercourse among to year-old male and female respondents.

Studies have shown an association between lifetime sexual behaviors and age at sexual debut 12 and recent sexual behaviors 3 ; however, few studies have examined the relationship between these behaviors using data from national surveys. National data focusing on sexual behaviors are important to sexually transmitted infection STI research and prevention.

Such data can be useful in many areas, including informing mathematical models of STIs, understanding epidemiological trends in STI incidence, and targeting prevention resources to those at highest risk for acquisition and transmission of STIs. The need for sexual behavior data is especially pronounced for individual-based models, 89 which are becoming more common owing, in part, to the increased availability and affordability of faster, more powerful computers. The purpose of this study was to examine the distribution of sexual behaviors in the United States stratified by the lifetime of vaginal sex partners.

Our main contribution to the existing literature is use of recent, nationally representative data. Such data are useful 1 to illustrate heterogeneity in sexual behavior by sex, age, and lifetime of sex partners to aid STI prevention efforts and 2 to inform mathematical models of STIs that often classify the population according to sexual activity level, based on the frequency at which people acquire new sex partners. These groups are similar to those used in a recent individual-level model of human papillomavirus HPV vaccination and were modified based on research to be useful to other STI prevention and modeling efforts.

We analyzed 3 sexual behavior measures. First, we examined the distribution of the population across the sexual activity groups, stratified by sex and age using 5-year groupings. Second, for each sexual activity group, we calculated the mean of recent vaginal sex partners past 12 monthsstratified by sex and age group. Third, for each sexual activity group, we examined age at first vaginal intercourse among those aged 25—34 years stratified by sex.

Recent data are most useful for sexually transmitted disease prevention efforts including modeling. For the distribution of of lifetime vaginal sex partners, we found similarities across age groups for male and female respondents, with a few minor exceptions. Among to year-olds, sexual activity group 1 0—1 lifetime sex partners was the most frequently reported sexual activity group for male However, among women aged 25 to 44 years, sexual activity group 2 2—4 lifetime sex partners was the most frequently reported sexual activity group Confidence intervals can be found in Appendix A.

The actual value for to year-old boys who reported 0 to 1 lifetime sex partners is The mean of recent sex partners past 12 months varied according to lifetime of sex partners; however, within sexual activity groups, we found few ificant differences by age or sex Fig. Although male respondents reported ificantly more recent partners than female respondents overall with the exception of those 15—19 years oldwithin a given sexual activity group, the reported s of recent vaginal sex partners did not ificantly differ for male and female respondents by age group.

Note: For clarity of illustration, the vertical axis was truncated at 3.

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Age at first vaginal intercourse varied according to lifetime of partners Fig. In general, those with higher s of lifetime sex partners reported a younger age at first vaginal intercourse than those with lower s of lifetime sex partners. Male and female respondents reported similar ages at first vaginal intercourse for all sexual activity groups, except for sexual activity group 1 0—1 lifetime sex partners. Within sexual activity group 1, more male respondents For sexual activity group 1 0—1 lifetime sex partnersthe actual value of first vaginal sex at age 18 to 24 years is Our findings that lifetime of sex partners is associated with a the of recent sex partners and b age at sexual debut are supported by other studies.

A key theme of our is that lifetime of sex partners is a simple yet useful measure to capture heterogeneity in sexual activity. When controlling for lifetime of sex partners sexual activity groups 1—5 in our applicationwe found no ificant differences between men and women in a reported of recent sex partners and b age at sexual debut except as noted above for sexual activity group 1. The sexual activity groups we used were similar to, but not exactly the same as, the sexual activity groups used by Van de Velde and colleagues. Our analysis is subject to limitations.

Responses to the interviewer-administered survey could be subject to social desirability bias. The measure for the of sex partners in the past 12 months was top coded at 7, which could reduce the mean but also prevents extreme outliers from skewing the. Sexual behaviors only included heterosexual vaginal sex partners in our analyses because we wanted to focus on vaginal sex in the lifetime; therefore, other sexual risk behaviors such as oral and anal sex were not ed for in these analyses.

Sample sizes precluded analyses by other sociodemographics. To facilitate the use of our in future STI prevention efforts including models, the sexual activity groups we used were selected based on a recent model of HPV vaccination. Despite these limitations, our analysis provides useful data on sexual behavior by age, sex, and lifetime of vaginal sex partners. Furthermore, our analysis illustrates the potential usefulness of lifetime of sex partners as a simple classification to reflect heterogeneity in other sexual behaviors.

The examination of sexual behaviors by age groups and by sex is important for sex-specific, age-related recommendations and prevention programs such as screening for chlamydial infection 2122 and HPV vaccination 23 Disclosure: The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

National Center for Biotechnology InformationU. Sex Transm Dis. Author manuscript; available in PMC Feb 2. Laura T. LeichliterPhD, Sevgi O. AralPhD, and Harrell W. ChessonPhD. Author information Copyright and information Disclaimer.

Copyright notice. The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at Sex Transm Dis. See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. Abstract Using data from the — National Survey of Family Growth, we found that lifetime of vaginal sex partners is positively associated with the of sex partners in the past 12 months and negatively associated with age at first vaginal intercourse among to year-old male and female respondents.

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Open in a separate window. Figure 1. Figure 2. Figure 3. Footnotes Disclosure: The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. References 1. Young age at first intercourse and risk-taking behaviours—A study of nearly 65 women in four Nordic countries.

Eur J Public Health. Long-term health correlates of timing of sexual debut: from a national US study. Am J Public Health. Multiple sexual partners among U. Fam Plann Perspect. Measuring sexual behaviour: Methodological challenges in survey research.

Sex Transm Infect. The concentration of sexual behaviours in the USA: A closer examination of sub-populations. Mathematical models of the transmission and control of sexually transmitted diseases. Aral SO, Roegner R. Mathematical modeling as a tool in STD prevention and control: A decade of progress, a millennium of opportunities.

Population-level impact of the bivalent, quadrivalent, and nonavalent human papillomavirus vaccines: A model-based analysis. J Natl Cancer Inst. Understanding differences in predictions of HPV vaccine effectiveness: A comparative model-based analysis. Vynnycky E, White RG.

An Introduction to Infectious Disease Modelling. New York: Oxford University Press; Vital Health Stat. Responsive de, weighting, and variance estimation in the — National Survey of Family Growth. Planning and development of the continuous National Survey of Family Growth.

SAS institute Inc. Research Triangle Institute. Schenker N, Gentleman JF. On judging the ificance of differences by examining the overlap between confidence intervals. Am Stat. Sexually transmitted infections. New York, NY: Springer; Factors associated with multiple sex partners among junior high school students. J Adolesc Health. Age at first coitus. A marker for risky sexual behavior in women. Early sexual initiation and subsequent sex-related risks among urban minority youth: The Reach for Health Study. Preventive Services Task Force. Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Please review our privacy policy. Sexual activity group 1 0—1 lifetime sex partners. Sexual activity group 2 2—4 lifetime sex partners. Sexual activity group 3 5—9 lifetime sex partners. Sexual activity group 4 10—39 lifetime sex partners.

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Age at first vaginal sex for all sexual activity groups.

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Willingness to disclose STI status to sex partners among college-age men in the United States