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Another intriguing finding -- rates of condom usage among black and Hispanic men were significantly higher than for whites. The researchers said this suggested that HIV-AIDS awareness programs were now making headway in those communities, which have relatively high rates of the disease.
The lowest condom usage rates were for men over 50 -- and the researchers said this was worrisome. Although men in that age group are more likely to be married than males in their teens and 20s, other surveys have shown 50s-and-over to be far more open to multiple sexual partners than in the past, raising the risk for disease.
Other notable findings:
-While about 7 percent of adult women and 8 percent of men identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual, the proportion of individuals who have had same-gender sex at some point in their lives is higher. For example, 15 percent of the men aged 50-59 said they had received oral sex from another man at some point.
-Among adolescent boys, only about 2 percent of the 14-year-olds -- but 40 percent of the 17-year-olds -- said they had engaged in sexual intercourse in the past year.
The survey was conducted from March through May of 2009, with the assistance of Knowledge Networks, among a nationally representative sample of adolescents and adults. Once people were selected to participate, they were interviewed online; participants without Internet access were provided it for free.
The researchers said the 1994 survey was compiled through in-person interviews, while the new method -- collecting data over the Internet -- may help make respondents more comfortable about discussing sexual behaviors.
Dr. Irwin Goldstein, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, noted that the new study came more than 60 years after Alfred Kinsey -- also based at Indiana University -- published his groundbreaking report, "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male."
"Just like then, these papers contain material that is avant garde and often considered off-limits," Goldstein wrote in a forward to the study. "At a time when we can have nudity on HBO but cannot use the names of our genitals on the evening news, there remains a need to continue research on sexual health."
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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