About 85 percent of men reported in a study that their partner had an orgasm during their most recent sexual event. The number dropped to 64 percent when women were asked whether they reached climax their last time.

The difference is probably due to poor communication between the genders, said Pepper Schwartz, a professor of sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle who wasn’t involved in the survey. Surveys like this one can help people talk to each other about sex, she said in a telephone interview.

The study, conducted by researchers from the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, surveyed 5,865 people aged 14 to 94 about their sexual activities, profiling what sex acts they engaged in and what precautions they took. A similar study was published in 1994 by University of Chicago researchers. Americans have become more experimental in the 16 years between the reports, the researchers wrote.

“The era of ‘wham-bam, thank you ma’am’ is over,” Schwartz said.

The survey, reported in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, found that adult men and women usually engage in more than one act in each encounter. Men are more likely to orgasm when sex includes vaginal intercourse, according to the report. Women are more likely to climax when they engage in a variety of activities, including oral and vaginal intercourse.


Expensive habit

About a third of national health-care costs is related to sexuality,
wrote former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders. For doctors to
provide information and adequate treatment to their patients, they need
to know what the community’s sexual behavior is, Elders wrote.


The kids have got it right


“Younger kids have grown up with the AIDS threat,” Schwartz said. “It’s what they expect, and if someone doesn’t want to use a condom, they’re like, ‘What, are you kidding?’ Older people don’t have the same health attention, in part because no one wants to know about their sexuality at all.”

The study surveyed a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population, the researchers reported. It can’t be generalized to gay, lesbian or bisexual individuals because the sample may obscure data points involving minority groups, the authors wrote.