Sex Ed

What Counts? College Students’ Definitions Of Abstinence (Infographic)

June 26, 2013 by Justin Lehmiller

What does it mean to be “abstinent?” It depends who you ask. A recent study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior finds that there is incredible variability in people’s personal definitions of the term abstinence. While people almost universally agree that abstinence allows for kissing, they are split over whether activities such as sexual touching and oral sex are permitted. Interestingly, people do not even agree on whether abstinence necessarily excludes the possibility of having sexual intercourse! Check out the infographic below for more information.

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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