Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthorMargaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephenLurieMD PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor
Copyright 1999 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1999
To the Editor: As Drs Sanders and Reinisch1 suggest, whether a particular act is labeled as
"sex" may depend on factors such as the nature of the relationship and whether
orgasm occurred. In 1997, as part of a pilot study conducted to investigate
the labeling of selected physical acts as sex, we surveyed 57 undergraduates
at a large eastern US university.2 The mean
age of the participants was 19.5 years. Of the total participants, 51% were
male and 75% were white. Survey participants were presented with 18 sexual
behavior scenarios featuring "Jim" and "Susie." They were asked whether the
behavior described would be considered sex by Jim and Susie (eg, "Jim and
Susie meet at a bar. They go back to his apartment where they engage in vaginal
intercourse. They both have orgasms. Would Jim consider this sex? Would Susie
consider this sex?").
Bogart LM, Pinkerton SD, Cecil H, Myaskovsky L, Wagstaff DA, Abramson PR. Attitudes Toward and Definitions of Having Sex. JAMA. 1999;282(20):1916-1919. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-20-jbk1124