Sexual activity prior to coital initiation: a comparison between males and females

Arch Sex Behav. 1999 Feb;28(1):63-9. doi: 10.1023/a:1018793622284.


The sexual activities college students reported engaging in prior to their first coital experience were investigated. A volunteer sample of 311 students (120 male and 191 female) completed a self-report anonymous questionnaire. Both males and females reported considerable precoital sexual experience. Although males reported more frequent activity than females on all items of assessment, the difference between groups, with the exception of masturbation, was not significant. The majority of both males and females reported at least one experience, and a sizable minority reported considerably more experience, with cunnilingus and fellatio, risk behaviors for the transmission of STDs, prior to their first coitus. Attention is drawn to the dearth of information on sexual activity prior to coital initiation. Given the potential risks of some of these activities, recommendations to further explore and address the precoital sexual behavior of adolescents are suggested.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Coitus*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors