Cherwell

Exposed: Oxford sex laid bare

One-night-stands, STD’s and clinches in college libraries: the full story of student sex at Oxford University has been laid bare this week.

Historians get the most action, only 15% of students are still to lose their virginity and you are much more likely to achieve a First Class degree if you are homosexual.

The revelations were among an array of dirty details exposed by a Cherwell survey of more than 850 students.

According to the responses, the most promiscuous colleges were Somerville and New, whilst in contrast, it was University College that had the greatest proportion of virgins.

Meanwhile it was those studying History that claimed to have the most sexual activity, with almost a quarter of respondents scoring between three and five times a week.

Closely in behind were Politics, Philosophy and Economics undergraduates and students of English Literature.

Interestingly, the survey also suggested a correlation between the amount of sex had by students and the final results they achieve in exams.

Those that have the most sex tend to attain a 2:1 or 2:2 result, whilst students who have sex less than once a month or abstain altogether are just as likely to achieve a First as fail altogether.

There was also a further relationship between students’ grades and their sexual orientation: 41% of homosexuals who replied to the survey achieved a First in exams, compared to 38% of asexuals and a third of those who feel attracted to the opposite gender.

More generally, the survey also threw up concerning results with regard to sexual health: although a mere 5% of students confessed to having had a sexually transmitted disease (STD) – much lower than the national average of one in three people – around half of respondents admitted to having unprotected sex. Furthermore, approximately 59% of students said they had never been tested for an STD.

Sam Tucker, JCR Welfare Rep at St Anne’s College thought that the reason for a relatively high number of students having unprotected sex could stem from lack of knowledge about the risks.

“I think people sometimes don’t realise the consequences of their actions,” he said. “If we make it easier for condoms to be accessible and to be obtained anonymously, then this number should drop.”

The survey also seemed to debunk many college stereotypes regarding sex: Wadham College – the home of the infamous annual ‘Queer Bop,’ and traditionally seen as a liberal college – had the lowest proportion of homosexuals, with a mere 3.5% of respondents claiming to be gay.
In contrast, Merton and Mansfield topped the table of the colleges with the highest proportion of homosexuals, scoring 21.4% and 16.6% respectively. Meanwhile St Hugh’s and Hertford had the largest percentage of hetrosexuals.

Asked to comment, Mohsin Khan, Chair of University’s LGBTQ Council downplayed the results, saying the distribution of sexuality among colleges varied from year to year.

“From personal experience, I have not found college stereotypes about sexuality to be true in any way,” he said.

“Every year, the distribution of LGBTQ people differs from college to college. There is no liberal gay college here and there is no straight college either.”

Khan also emphasized the need of protection, after the survey demonstrated that homosexuals were more likely to have unprotected sex than heterosexuals by more than 13%.

“LGBTQ Council has been working quite hard to inform lesbians and bisexual women that they do need to practice safe sex,” he said.

“Just because you don’t penetrate doesn’t mean you are safe. Women may want to use dental dams, just as gay men may want to use condoms. Lesbian-lesbian sex poses less risk, but it isn’t zero.”

Such a message seemed just as relevant to graduate as undergraduate students, after results showed older students to be getting far more bedroom action: 27% of graduates claimed to be having intercourse 3-4 times per week, in comparison to only 21% of undergrads.

Also, a staggering 81.4% of graduates admitted to regularly masturbating in comparison to 75.3% of their younger counterparts. Only 10% of student respondents said they have had more than 10 sexual partners.