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A Survey of US Sexual Activity Report

What Are Americans doing in Bed and Who are they Doing it with?


A survey came out last week about sexual behavior in the United States. It was funded by the federal government and its main purpose is to track sexual activity to form public health policy. There are some interesting findings about women who have sex with other women in the survey.

This report presents national estimates of several types of sexual behavior among men and women 15-44 years of age in the United States in 2006-2008, as well as measures of sexual attraction and identity for adults 18-44.

This survey gives us a glimpse into American sexual behavior. Here are some of the key findings that pertain to lesbian and bisexual women:

What Percentage of the Population is Lesbian?

Just about 13 percent of women reported some kind of same-sex sexual behavior in their lifetime. Only 5% of men did.

When asked about sexual identity or orientation almost 94% identified as heterosexual, 1% as lesbian and 3.5% as bisexual. However, about 6% of women 18-30 self-identified as bisexual.

Women with Bachelor’s degrees or higher were less likely to report same-sex sexual behavior than women in the other education categories. Hispanic women (6.3%) were less likely than either non-Hispanic white (15%) or black women (11%) to report same-sex sexual behavior.

What Does a Sex Survey Really Tell Us?

I find surveys like this interesting, but I don’t necessarily give them too much importance. The data was collected in 2006-2008 and 13,495 people were surveyed. That's not a huge sample, when you figure the whole United States population.

I also wonder how honest people really are in these types of surveys, since the interviews took place in person. Would people be too embarrassed to answer truthfully? Would they “brag” or exaggerate about their sexual activities and partners? Or would the opposite happen and would they down play the amount of sex and number of partners they had?

Even so, it does give us a glimpse into the lives of the thirteen thousand or so people who were willing to sit down and be interviewed about a very private and intimate part of their life.

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