Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Masters & Johnson à la française

Emmanuelle Cosse reports on a new survey conducted by the French National Agency for the Study of AIDS and Viral Hepatituses ("Agence nationale de recherches sur le sida et les hépatites virales")—

The first results of a large survey into the "Background of sexuality in France" ... has just been made public. It addressed, through interviews with more than 12,000 people, the sexual behaviors and habits of the French. The last survey dated from 1992.

We learn that the age of the first sexual relation is 17.6 years for women and 17.2 for men. Women declare 4.4 partners on average for their lifetime and 11.6 for men.

As for homosexual relations 4% of women and 4.1% of men say they had relations with a person of the same sex. That's a "appreciable increase" for women (compared with 1992), while the proportion for men is stable. In the past 12 months 1% of women and 1.6% of men stated that they had homosexual relations.

The statements vary as a function of age and according to place of residence. Thus, 6% of women and 7.5% of men living in the Parisian metropolitan area say they've engaged in homosexual practices "as opposed to 3.2% and 2.9% for those who live in rural communities." The majority of the French consider that "homosexuality is a sexuality like any other." In addition, only 50.2% of women and 45.2% of men say they've had a test to screen for AIDS at least once in their life.

Survey conducted of 12,364 men and women, aged 18 to 69, interviewed by telephone. [A Simply Appalling translation]

I haven't seen the actual survey, but to average the number of sexual partners in a lifetime for people whose ages vary from 18 to 69 seems rather ludicrous on its face. Have they all finished?

As for the low number of homosexual experiences, the French seem a bit too modest. I believe I may know some singles who've slept with more than 4.1% of the male population.

Metro International noted in a sidebar that modern seniors are in "great form"—

Some noticeable changes have been recorded for people over 50, particularly women: Of those in a relationship for more than 50 years, only 53% acknowledged sexual activity in the past 12 months in the 1970 survey; 77% did so in the survey of 1992 and close to 90% today. [A Simply Appalling translation]

There's still hope.


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