Reason Online: Teenage Fellatio Craze False

Well if you are a high school age boy you probably already know what Cathy Young has written.

Are some kids having sex too soon, and with too many partners, for their own emotional and physical well-being? Almost certainly. But the majority do not inhabit the sexual jungle of worried adults’ imaginations. The teenage fellatio craze exists mainly among adults.

She notes that most of the “evidence” of this new craze seems to be anecdotal with sloppy verification of various claims. She notes that most of the “evidence” seems to come from things like episodes of Oprah where the guest has supposedly talked to 50 girls. What isn’t asked is “Are the experiences they are reporting on something they did or rumors?” Seems like an important question to ask when surveying young girls about anything, let alone things like Rainbow Parties.

The case when there was a survey done by people who know how to do surveys the evidence is typically disregarded.

A study by the National Center for Health Statistics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released in September 2005, that found 25 percent of 15-year-old girls and half of 17-year-olds had engaged in oral sex. While the survey did not include children under 15, the report noted that in a survey several months earlier, only 4 percent of adolescents 13 to 14 years old said they’d had oral sex. (Did any of this represent an increase from the past? Probably not: A Child Trends analysis of data from surveys of unmarried males ages 15 to 19 in 1995 and 2002 found no significant changes in reported rates of oral sex experience.)


The study did say something about one aspect of the alleged oral sex craze, something that contradicts conventional wisdom. Girls and boys, it turns out, are about equally likely to give and to receive. Actually, at least among younger adolescents, boys overall reported more oral sex experience than girls, but both boys and girls were more likely to report receiving oral sex than giving it—which suggests a lot of respondents are fibbing.

In other words, like most people, when asked about sexual encounters the respondent is likely to lie about how much they get vs. how much they give, and that there appears to be no change in the data.

So, if you aren’t a high school age boy and thinking, “Dang how come all the fun stuff happens after I finish high school?!?!” don’t worry you aren’t missing a thing. High school is probably much like you remembered it, and you really don’t want to go back.

FILED UNDER: Education, Gender Issues, Health, US Politics,
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.


  1. Ugh says:

    But if I could go back to high school knowing what I know now…nah.

  2. No,No,No,No,No,No,No.

    The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. My brother got to go to high school in the 60’s where it was all free love and you just had to smile and flash a peace sign to get some. I had to settle for disco and we know how that sucked (and not in a good way).

    Kids today obviously are getting more, in more ways and with more people than at any time in history. It can’t be like it was in school when I was there. Everyone just has to be so much cooler and have it together better. They can’t have any doubts about zits, whats trendy and what does that other gender really want.

    You can try to burst my bubble, but I will just put my fingers in my ears and chant the nah,nah,nahs because I can’t here you.

    p.s. Its hard to type when you put your fingers in your ears.

  3. Eneils Bailey says:

    I bet these young girls get tired of surveys being rammed down their throats.

  4. Kathy K says:

    “I bet these young girls get tired of surveys being rammed down their throats.”


    But on a more serious note… I don’t believe a word I hear about surveys in high schools – I was in high school in the 70’s – back then, they liked drug surveys. We always lied (yep.. we’d even tried things we’d never heard of… or we never tried anything ever, nuh-uh). We hated having to take surveys.