Can you really survey sex and drugs?

The National Center for Health Statistics released, last Friday, a report on Sex and Illegal Drug use in the United States. Now for starters, let’s state the obvious: This survey was performed by the U.S. Government, and was asking people in many cases if they’d done something that is against the law. So these numbers are, if anything, low. I also am highly suspect of statistics showing that men have 7 female partners, but women only have 4 male partners. Unless all these men are visiting prostitutes, somebody’s lying.

Interesting: There seems to be a steady increase in the number of people having sex before the age of 15 (which is illegal in most states). The movement isn’t coming from the males, though. The numbers for the boys is fairly stable. It’s the girls who are increasingly having sex at a young age. Or, maybe, they’re just increasingly admitting to it. We do have the double-standard in our society that sexually active men are admired while sexually active women are degraded. Stud vs. Slut, if you will. That’s probably a greater inhibitor to accurate polling than whether or not an activity is illegal. Speaking of which… if over 15% of us are having sex prior to age 15, and more than half of us are having sex prior to age 18, maybe it’s time we rethink “age of consent” laws? That’s a rather hefty number of felons being created. These statistics also speak volumes about the utter futility of abstinence-based sex education. Boys and girls are simply not abstaining. Teach them safe sex, and do it before age 15, and you may save some lives as well as some teen pregnancies.

Winning the war on drugs? Supposedly, less than 22% of people have used “street drugs”, ever. Of course, that’s the number that admits to engaging in illegal activity to a pollster, so take it with a grain or two of salt. Marijuana, interestingly enough, was specifically excluded from this category, and use of it was not surveyed at all. Probably because the government does not want anybody to be aware of that inconvenient truth (that most people have used it, and it isn’t the scary life-destroying gateway drug the government claims it is).

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  • Danny  On July 5, 2007 at 9:43 am

    Yep. A lot of somebodies are probably lying. I had a number of encounters with surveys and statistics in college. The sad truth is, if you’re asking people about their opinions, you’ll get reasonable data; but if you want to know how many sexual partners they’ve had, or what drugs they’ve taken, all bets are off. There are too many reasons for people to distort the truth, even to themselves. Survey information will always have to be used in conjunction with verifiable data, like pregnancy rates, drug arrests, and so forth.

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