Predictive Relationship Between Adolescent Oral and Vaginal Sex: Results From a Prospective, Longitudinal Study | Adolescent Medicine | JAMA Pediatrics | JAMA Network
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Article
ONLINE FIRST
March 7, 2011

Predictive Relationship Between Adolescent Oral and Vaginal Sex: Results From a Prospective, Longitudinal Study

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: School of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts, Psychological Sciences, University of California, Merced (Dr Song), and Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco (Dr Halpern-Felsher).

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011;165(3):243-249. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.214

The most common form of sexual behavior among adolescents is oral sex. At least 20% of adolescents have had oral sex by the end of ninth grade.1 Among adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19 years, 55% of males and 54% of females have had oral sex with members of the opposite sex.2 Although not risk free, oral sex is associated with significantly less risk of sexually transmitted infection (STI), human immunodeficiency virus, and pregnancy compared with vaginal sex. It has also been suggested that there is a temporal order in the relationship between oral sex and vaginal sex, but the data are inconclusive. Assuming a temporal relationship exists, it remains unclear whether adolescents who have oral sex are at greater or less risk for initiating vaginal sex compared with adolescents with no oral sex experience. Addressing these questions will yield important information about adolescent sexual development, as well as how best to deliver comprehensive sex education programs that include discussion of both oral and vaginal sex.

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