Visualizing Sexual Behavior

Mean sexual behavior and specific behaviors over time
(Hover for behavior details)

Out of a sample group of 5,865 Americans, Indiana university pulled together a list of nine different behaviors and asked the participants if they had engaged in those activities in the past year. Correlating the data to age and gender produced a dataset describing not only the differences between men and women, but also showing the relative activity of individuals over their lives. Ranging from fourteen years old to over seventy years old, a picture of sexuality over time and between the genders emerges.

A few caveats should be noted with the data. First of all, the study (which informs the data, and in turn, the visualizations) assumes perfect binary gender and makes no mention of trans-gender or other non-binary genders. Secondly, while it is possible to make some assumptions as to gay versus straight activities (a man giving or receiving oral sex from another man implies a homosexual activity), no difference is noted as to whether the individuals in the relationship were both homosexual (or, conversely, heterosexual), or even whether the act was consensual. Finally, no expectation of normalcy was voiced in the questions, so there is no telling whether those who answered yes viewed the act as out of the ordinary - by extension, no other behaviors were listed (such as "pegging", wherein a woman inserts a faux penis in the form of a strap-on into the anus - no data was even listed).

You can explore the overall trend of the data using the slider and visualizations to the left. Assuming each of the behaviors counts as sexual activity, the mean sexual activity of the respondents is given as a line-graph divided up by gender, while the individual behaviors are shown in relative size below.

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