Sexpress Virginity Survey Results

Prior to the publication of this issue, the Sexpress team designed and sent out a survey regarding Virginity, the loss of virginity, and personal experiences surrounding it. This survey, posted for several weeks on our Website, Facebook and Twitter, got a whopping 373 responses from the student body, making it, statistically speaking, representative of the student population.

In it, we asked the participants about their virginity “status”, what they consider virginity loss, their experiences surrounding their loss of virginity, if they used contraception, if they were comfortable with the idea of being virgins, etc..

Here is a breakdown and analysis of this survey.

Who took part?

34.6% of participants for this survey were male. 63.3% were female, and 2.1% identified as other. 43% of our participants fell into the category of being aged under the age of 20; 44% were between the ages of 21 and 25, with the rest of the group being aged over 25 and beyond.

What do you regard as losing your virginity?

2% of people regarded Oral sex as the loss of virginity. Meanwhile, 47.7% of participants regarded only vaginal sex as virginity loss, while 42.1% regarded any penetrative sex as deflowering. One person out of all the survey’s participants answered that they considered only anal sex as virginity loss, while 7.8% responded with something other than these four options.

Are you a virgin?

Overall, 20.6% of participants reported themselves as virgins (or, having not have sex yet), with 68.8% of those who reported themselves as virgins identifying as female.

Out of those who responded declaring themselves to be virgins, 71.4% informed us that they are comfortable with the fact that they are virgins, showing a very positive attitude towards virginity by those who are virgins themselves, and contrary to the popular perception of college students, exemplified by the likes of “American Pie” and “Superbad”.

Though, that said….

Males were more likely to say that they were uncomfortable with the idea of being virgins (52% of all male virgins), which implies to us that the experience of being a male virgin in college could be more frustrating than that of being a female virgin.

All of those who said that they are uncomfortable with the idea of being virgins also stated that they’re actively attempting to lose their virginity, an unsurprising result considering the questions at hand!

A small minority mentioned that they are waiting until marriage to engage in intercourse, a statistic which would have, no doubt, been much larger 10-20 years ago (5.2%).

43% of participants answering as virgins felt a pressure to lose their V-card, a statistic which the Sexpress team thought would be a bit higher, due to the sexualisation of society and sex being ever prevalent in mainstream media. However, when just males were investigated, 52% reported to feel the pressure to have sex with someone, again highlighting that pressure to have sex seems to be more concentrated in men.

How did your virginity loss go?

79.4% of all participants stated that they had had sex. The average age for virginity loss was 18 years old, a year over the age of consent in Ireland, thankfully! The lowest reported age for virginity loss stood in at a jaw-dropping 8 years old, and the highest reported age came in at 28 years old.

62 percent of those who reported themselves to have had sex said that their first time was an enjoyable experience for them, contrary to the belief circulated on the internet that a person’s first sexual experience is something to be “endured”, something that is awkward and painful, or as an initiation into the world of sex.

Answers to asking if their virginity loss was planned were split very evenly, with just 51% of responders saying that it was indeed planned with their partner. A higher percentage of males appeared to have planned their first time than females did, though whether this is correlation with the apparent pressure for males to lose their virginity would have to be further investigated. Those who identified as other were relatively even in terms of whether their first time was a planned endeavour.

A higher percentage of female than male participants considered their virginity loss as significant, showing that the stereotype of women being the more emotional sexual partners may not be totally wrong! However, nearly all of those who identified as Other stated that they did not regard virginity loss as significant, suggesting a more sex-positive stance towards the act of intercourse amongst these people.

85% of people used some type of contraception during their first time, a positive result and a sign of responsibility when engaging in sex amongst our student population.

Nearly a quarter of participants said that they felt some sort of pressure into losing their virginity. However, when just female participants were analysed, a slight jump in numbers were seen, saying that 3/10s of women felt that they were pressured into their first time.

The Conclusions

Overall, there were few surprises here. Some eyebrow-raising results, indeed, and some worrying ones; however, it makes for some interesting reading. Who knows; it could be something interesting to track throughout the future years of the Express!