See the results from this landmark survey of teen sexuality

By People Staff
Updated January 19, 2005 07:00 AM

When it comes to teens and sex, there’s a lot of hype and few solid answers. Does oral sex happen in middle school? We didn’t know, because there was very little research on 13- and 14-year-olds. Until now.

PEOPLE and NBC News decided to find out more. The results: this special poll and The 411: Teens & Sex, an NBC special with Katie Couric to air at 10 p.m. on Jan. 26.

As part of our reporting, we commissioned Princeton Survey Research Associates International to conduct a nationally representative telephone survey of young teenagers aged 13 to 16 and their parents.

The results – the PEOPLE/NBC News National Survey of Young Teens Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors – break new ground, covering almost the full spectrum of teen sex, including oral sex.

Here are some highlights:
• Sexual activity (ranging from intimate physical contact to intercourse and oral sex) is as common among boys as it is among girls, but it is more common among 15- and 16-year-olds (41 percent) than 13- to 14-year-olds (14 percent).

• Girls are more likely than boys to disapprove of teens engaging in oral sex or sexual intercourse.

• Teens who live in urban areas (33 percent) are more likely to be sexually active than suburban teens (24 percent). Teens in rural areas (27 percent) fall in between.

• Suburban teens (60 percent) are more likely to say teens who have oral sex are still virgins than urban teens (45 percent).

• Teens from Catholic families and teens from Protestant families are equally likely (26 percent) to be sexually active. Teens whose parents are not religious are more likely (39 percent) than both.

• Teens with a Catholic parent are more likely (72 percent) to have refrained from sex because they are worried what their parents will think than those with a Protestant parent (63 percent) or another religious background (57 percent).

Click here for the complete PEOPLE/NBC News poll