The college life is getting more chaste—and more randy—at the same time, according to recent studies. A Stanford sociologist who surveyed a whopping 17,000 college students since 2005 found that a hefty 24% of seniors said they were virgins. That's a percentage on the rise, reports USA Today. A separate National Center for Health Statistics study, based on 2006-2008 data, found that 12% of female and 13% of male students age 20-24 were virgins, up from 8% for both in 2002. That study found a quarter of those 18-19 were virgins, up from 17% of women in 2002 and 22% of men.
And the Stanford study's numbers may be low: A 2007 survey of 1,500 Duke freshman and seniors found 53% of women and 40% of men were virgins. And yet hook-up culture is on the rise. The Stanford study found that 72% of seniors had at least one hookup, with men having about 10, and women about 7. One researcher thinks the preponderance of women may be a reason. With females making up 56% of the college population in 2009, "women wind up competing with each other for access to the men, and often, that means relationships become sexual quicker." As for the rise in virgins? It's mostly speculation; guesses included busy lives, more open dialogue about STDs, the easy accessibility of Internet porn, and the rise of the abstinence movement. (Read more college stories.)