Sexual Behavior and Drug Use

The National Center for Health Statistics released its first ever study of the sexual behavior and drug use in American adults with the release of Drug Use and Sexual Behaviors Reported by Adults: United States, 1999-2002, based on the extremely rich data collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey’s personal interview modules on sexual behavior and drug use.

The report uses data collected over a 4-year period from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Some of the highlights include

  • Only 4 percent of adults ages 20 years and older have never had sex.
  • Of all race/ethnic groups, Mexican-American adults had the lowest percentage (88 percent) who ever had sex.
  • Twenty-nine percent of men reported having 15 or more female sexual partners over their lifetime compared to 9 percent of women who reported having 15 or more male sexual partners in a lifetime.
  • More than one in five adults 20-49 years of age have tried cocaine or other street drugs at some time in their life.

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