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Everything You Don’t Want to Know About Your Kid’s Sex Life

An expanded version of the 100-teen-vs.-100-parent promiscuity poll.

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To figure out what teens are up to when their parents aren’t watching, we gave 53 boys and 47 girls from four Manhattan high schools (Dalton, La Guardia, Beacon, and MLK) a “purity test,” a series of 37 questions designed to tease out exactly how far they go. Then we went after 100 parents—not the parents of the kids we polled, but parents with kids in the same teen demographic. (We would have liked to administer a take-home purity test, but alas.) We found them—54 moms and 46 dads—in midtown, and put them to the test, with one difference: We asked them to guess their own teens’ answers. As you’ll see, the high schoolers and the parents live on fairly different planets.

Have you ever...    
...kissed someone?   Students say: 96
  Parents think their own teen has:
74
 
...gone on a date?   93
68
 
...French-kissed?   84
43
 
..gotten or given a hickey?   73
28
 
...told someone that you loved him or her?   68
32
 
...watched an X-rated movie?   65
25
 
...dated someone on a regular basis?   62

54

 
...received oral sex?   61

10

 
...masturbated?   57

36

 
...undressed someone?   56

11

 
...had sexual intercourse?   55

26

 
...gone on a date that lasted past 1 a.m.?   53

32

 
...performed oral sex?   51

1

 
...dry-humped (had clothes on)?   51

15

 
...experienced sexual activity while in bed with someone?   51

16

 
...watched an X-rated movie with a member of the opposite sex?   46

9

 
...had sex with a virgin?   37

6

 
...been masturbated to climax by someone else?   34

7

 
...purchased contraceptives?   34

7

 
...kissed for more than two hours continuously?   31

19

 
...had sexual intercourse without a condom?   29

1

 
...taken a shower with someone in the nude?   27

6

 
...had sexual conversations with a stranger on the Internet?   25

3

 
...had sex with someone younger than 16?   25

5

 
...had sex while on drugs or alcohol?   24

15

 
...been told to slow down when making the moves on someone?   21

5

 
...bought porn?   21

5

 
...watched others having sex?   18

2

 
...had sex on your parents' bed?   16

1

 
...taken pictures during sex or sexual activity?   15

1

 
...masturbated while someone watched?   15

1

 
...had sex in a public place?   15

1

 
...had sex with a member of the same sex?   13

3

 
...had anal sex?   12

1

 
...told someone you loved him or her for sexual gain?   11

7

 
...had someone watch while you and your partner had sex?   7

0

 


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