Sex in Southampton


In January the Wessex Scene compiled a survey that was promoted online, to find out student’s sexual habits and the issues surrounding sex that concerned them.

Initially I was informed that I ‘would be lucky to get 100 responses’, as Student Union surveys are never very successful, with 30 respondents the average number. But sex sells, and within an hour we had over 100 replies. We kept the survey available online for a week and gathered almost 2000 responses, approximately 10% of the student population at Southampton University, and enough data to generate some very interesting statistics. An almost equal amount of men and women completed the survey, the majority of which were undergraduates (what we were expecting), although a significant proportion of postgraduates also entered their details.

Sexual Activity

Students at Southampton University are predominantly sexually active, with only 14% who classify themselves as virgins. Of those who have indulged in sexual activities, 68.5% of students lost their virginity before starting university. Chemistry students are most likely to be virgins, with 17% classifying themselves as such. Similarly, MIT also found that their chemistry course also housed more virgins than any other department, in a study they did entitled Sex@MIT.

With regard to sexual orientation, 92.7% of students classify themselves as heterosexual, 2.6% homosexual, 4.2% bisexual, while 0.5% ticked the ‘other’ category.


Not only are students in the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research the biggest wankers (35% masturbate daily), but they are also the school who have undertaken more one night stands, with 64% admitting doing so, compared to 48.1% of the student population as a whole. The school of geography also fared highly with regard to sexual adventure, with 25.8% owning a sex toy, although they share a joint lowest position with Civil Engineering with regard to anal sex, with just 16.4% indulging in back door activity.

When speaking with students at Winchester School of Art a couple of months ago, I expressed my suspicions that they were probably getting the most sex out of all the schools. While they were surprisingly quick to denounce this, telling me that they think that is unlikely, my prediction did turn out to be true. They have the highest proportion of students that have slept with over 50 people (6%) and have the highest rate of anal sex (46.6%) within the university. 27% of students also admit to owning more than one sex toy.

Amusingly, the school with the highest rate of STIs is the school of Health Sciences, with 56% admitting to having an STI in the past. However while that rate is far higher that the average 4.6% at the university, it is possible that they are more inclined to get tested, as opposed to other schools that may tend to not get tested as they do not expect to contract an infection. This is apparent when looking at the raw data, where students have admitted to having unprotected sex, but say they have never had an STI despite never actually getting tested.


We knew it wouldn’t be the best idea to let a bunch of mainly humanities students create and analyse data, so we enlisted the expertise of some of the super clever people next door to the Wessex Scene office who took degrees in clever subjects like maths, statistics and computer science to ensure the data was as clean and as accurate as possible. A special thanks to Robin, Paul, Vicky and student Andy Jeffs for their help with the survey.

We can’t claim to know all the sexual habits and beliefs of students at the University, but with a respondent rate of 10%, we do know a bit more about the issues that students in Southampton face.

Comments from the Survey

‘Disturbing. Should have done it in private.’

‘Don’t turn this into a preachy article!’

‘Good idea. Will be awesome to see the results.’

‘I love watersports!’

‘I thought the sexual experience with a lecturer was a bit unexpected, but not offensive.’

‘I’m aroused.’

‘I’m not ashamed of my virginity – I just haven’t met the right girl.’

‘It sickens me that sex has ultimately become a commodity in our society.’

‘It’s a bit limited in scope. You could have asked loads more questions.’

‘Make it a good issue! Focus on the positives. Less negatives.’

‘More free condoms need to be available and easily accessible. My halls bar (where I get them from) run out all the time.’

‘Sex is fun and should be enjoyed but SAFELY!’

‘The results should be interesting. Good idea to probe the habits of the student body without being too personal.’

‘You could ask some much more interesting questions! Multiple people in one go? Age difference between partners. Nothing was asked about oral sex. And nothing was asked about fetishes.’


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