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5.3: The Importance of Sexuality

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    Sexuality is important to us because it represents an activity that is a rite of passage into adulthood, because it is very pleasurable, and because it reinforces our roles and aspirations as males and females. Yet sexuality is truly a passive part of our daily lives.

    Samuel and Cynthia Janus published The Janus Report on Sexual Behavior in 1993. They studied a scientific sample of 2,765 men and women and reported some general trends in U.S. sexual practices and patterns. They found that age-based estimates indicate a great deal of similarity in sexual frequency between age groups with 2-3 sexual encounters per week.

    Sex is a minor (yet important) part of our daily time allocation. People with a sexual partner available have sex about 3 times per week, taking about 25 minutes per experience. That means about 75 minutes per week or 3,900 minutes per year is spent having sex. Divide 3,900 by 60 minutes, and it equals about 65 hours per year having sex. At first glance that sounds like a great deal of time allocation, but keep in mind that in comparison, most of us spend most of our lives doing nonsexual things.

    Consider these estimates: if the average person sleeps about eight hours in a 24 hour period, works 8.5 hours, eats 1.5 hours, commutes .5 hour, watches TV for three hours, and spends about 2.5 hours for miscellaneous activities, then compared to routine non-sexual activities, sexual intercourse comprises a relatively small portion of our time.

    Relatively speaking sexual intercourse is a passive part of the average person’s life accounting for only 65 yearly hours of involvement per year. Many people refrain from regular sexual intercourse until their twenties and are less likely to participate in it if they are not married than are married people. These estimations don’t take into account those with no sexual partner and those who abstain from sexual intercourse. The average would be much lower if those categories of people were averaged into the equation.

    This page titled 5.3: The Importance of Sexuality is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Garrett Rieck & Justin Lundin.