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This Chart Shows How Old Americans Were When They Lost Their Virginity

by Penn Collins

March 20, 2017

Education and Technology:

Microsoft Learning Tools is software that helps improve reading skills by reducing visual crowding, highlighting words, and reading text aloud, so students can engage with words in a whole new way.

Learn more

The National Survey of Family Growth has recently released data on the ages Americans were when they lost their virginity. The figures themselves might not come as a surprise, but when represented graphically, they may cause you to see the occurrence of the life event in a whole new way. 

The group administering the survey was overseen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and was based on 2013–2015 public use data files. 

The big caveat here is that this only covers heterosexual subjects. One would hope that it would be more inclusive of such a large and distinct segment of the population, but it’s likely that in future years more sexual orientations and relationships will be included in the study. 

Here’s the graph, with the later years showing a little statistical noise. (People didn’t actually regain their virginity from 39–40; it was a function of parsing the data):

As you can see, between ages 16–20, half the population lost their virginity, and by 22 years of age, 90 of the population had. And if you haven’t lost your virginity by age 30, the likelihood that you ever will falls dramatically. That’s not a pessimistic statement, but, instead, could have more to do general disinterest, a physical disability, or an inability to perform sexually. 

As you can see from the chart, the number tends to stabilize at a 4 percent virginity rate at age 43. The data only covered subjects age 15–45, so it’s unclear how much further that 4 percent would fall over the later years of life. 

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