The headline in the Washington Post reads, “A Debunking on Teenagers and ‘Technical Virginity’”. They discuss a recent Guttmacher Institute study that supposedly debunks the myth that a lot of teens are engaging in oral sex rather than vaginal sex to preserve their virginity. What is their evidence? That oral sex is more common among those who have had vaginal sex than those who haven’t. A full 87% of those who have had vaginal sex have also had oral sex, whereas 23% of those who have not had vaginal sex have had oral sex.

I do not dispute the statistics, but I think the Guttmacher Institute is spinning the statistics into a lie. It is not surprising that those who engage in vaginal sex are more likely to engage in oral sex. After all, if you’ve “gone all the way,” oral sex is no big deal. What they are minimizing is the fact that 23% of virgins have had oral sex, rather than engage in vaginal sex. Did you catch that? How can it be a myth that teens are engaging in oral sex rather than vaginal sex to perverse their virginity when the study admits that nearly 1 in 4 virgins is having oral sex but not vaginal sex?!

Rather than being a myth, I think this study proves it is true that a large number of teens are engaging in oral sex to preserve their virginity (although I don’t know whether this proves it is “on the rise”). Of course, many more are engaging in oral sex who have chosen not to preserve their virginity, but again, this is not surprising. Unless I am missing something, I think the Guttmacher Institute is lying with the statistics. It is irresponsible to compare the 87% to the 23%. They are apples and oranges.