How do girls between 16 and 25 live their sexuality in 2022 ?
The Endo Lab and Terpan Prevention set out to explore this.
From orgasm to consent, through prevention… do girls today fully assume their anatomy and sexuality or are there still taboo subjects?
Here are the results of this study carried out by Terpan Prévention, conducted between June and July 2022 with more than 1,000 female respondents aged 16 to 25.
Consent, too often neglected
Despite the many movements against sexual violence, consent is still the order of the day in the darkness of the bedroom.
This is the unfortunate finding of a study on the sexuality of women aged 16 to 25 conducted by Terpan Prévention. More than 20% of them say they have had a first time without consent, under duress or threat, and more than 45% have had one or more non-consensual intercourse(s) in their lives (that’s one woman in two).
The myth of the first time shown in the movies is very far from reality. This is confirmed by the figures, since 93% of respondents did not feel any pleasure at all during their first time. The reason: stress, too little foreplay or a partner who was too rough.
What is also serious is that for 52% of them, the intercourse was mainly focused on their partner’s pleasure and not on their own and that for 43% it was focused on porn. Let’s not forget that 90% of porn scenes contain violence (Senate report).
In search of pleasure
In a sexual relationship, female pleasure is all too often secondary. Dictated by a certain male egoism, only 26% of women experience an orgasm during each intercourse. 24% declare not having any orgasm with their current partner. Among the reasons, pain during intercourse.
More than 40% of respondents say they have vulvar pain regularly and 18% have this feeling of discomfort all the time. “These pains are abnormal whatever their nature. Like menstrual pain, it is internalized by women because society has defined that it is normal for a woman to suffer,” said Floriane du Lab de l’Endo.
“What’s crazy is that today there are more than 27,000 studies on erectile problems versus less than 600 on vulvar pain,” says Floriane.
This type of pain, too often neglected, can however indicate problems such as cysts or serious gynecological pathologies. For example, endometriosis, which is diagnosed on average 7 years late, according to Santé.fr.
But these pains are not always the only causes of the difficulty to reach orgasm.
More than 57% of the women surveyed admit to having a complex about their bodies (stretch marks, etc.) during a sexual relationship and 20% of them even say that this has an impact on their enjoyment of sex. This is not surprising since society has always maintained physical injunctions and a sexualization of women’s bodies (full body hair removal, perfectly smooth vulva, flat stomach, wasp waist…).
“This affects their self-confidence […] even in their sexual intimacy, which should be associated with pleasure, not physical performance. This partly explains the twice as high rate of depression among women, among other public health issues.”
Girls and prevention
Regarding their first sexual intercourse, 15% of women say that neither of them had a condom with them. More worryingly, for subsequent intercourse, 42% did not have one.
Among them, 60% use the pill, 13% use the IUD and 13% do not use any method of contraception. Moreover, 84% know about the female condom but have never used it. And yet, “The female condom should give women the means to control and be free,” explains Terpan Prévention. “It is an undeniable means of enabling women to take preventive action. Parity and equality must eventually be expressed in all areas of our society, right down to intimacy. “
For lack of protection, 53% of women have used emergency contraception.
However, more than 93% of them confirm that they are well informed and aware of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). But 44% have not been vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Menstruation and sexual relations, incompatible for 60% of women
Menstruation, which has long been considered impure, also has an impact on sexuality, since 60% of women deny themselves this pleasure, as 31% of them consider it disgusting and 14% think that their partner does not like it. However, some studies show that having sex can calm muscle cramps.
Finally, young women between the ages of 16 and 25 give themselves over to solitary pleasure. According to the figures, 92% of respondents said “yes” to masturbation. It’s a promising form of sexual independence. But before arriving at a 100% fulfilled sexuality, efforts are still to be made.