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The Janus Report
The Janus Report
The Janus Report Background
The Janus Report is a survey conducted by Cynthia and Samuel Janus. Cynthia Janus was an associate professor of radiology and of obstetrics and gynecology from 1988 – 1991 at the University of Virginia. Samuel Janus is a psychologist and was a clinical associate professor of behavioral medicine at the University of Virginia from 1988 – 1992. They currently live in Vineland, New Jersey; however, they were known for their study on American sexual behavior. In fact, “their report is being touted as the m
Published book of the Janus Report
ost comprehensive study on American sexual behavior since the Kinsey report four decades ago” (UPI, 2004). Cynthia and Samuel Janus collected data between 1983 and 1992 and they examined how Americans engage in sex. Shortly after, they published their book called,
The Janus Report on Sexual Behavior
Purpose of “The Janus Report”
The main purposes of the study and report were “to bring into clear focus sexual behavior as lived by Americans in the 1980s and early 1990s and to examine how Americans engage in sex, what they believe about their sexuality and the most relevant related social issues” (Janus, 1993). As mentioned on the book and as mentioned before, the Janus Report is considered the first broad-scale scientific national survey since Alfred Charles Kinsey. Alfred Kinsey was an American biologist and professor of entomology and zoology. Kinsey wrote two books which later came to be known as the Kinsey Reports. The reports were studies on the sexual behavior of male and females from the late 1940s and the early 1950s. Now thirty to fifty years have passed and the Januses wanted to see the change in American sexual behavior.
Research behind “The Janus Report”
The research was conducted in two phases. The first phase is known as the pilot phase and the second phase is the large-scale, cross-sectional survey. The survey was designed to represent every region of the forty-eight states in the United States. The Januses stated that “our demographics are suffiently representative of the characteristics of the national population of the United States that our findings are likely generalizable for the country as a whole” (Janus, 1993).
The first phase, the Januses conducted a series of five “pilot studies”. The purpose of this was so that their questionnaire could be refined and for research tools to develop. In the meantime, there were 210 professionals who guided the Januses during the series and they reported to experienced researchers.
During the “pilot studies”, data was collected from more than 4,500 individuals. An important note is that during the main study, only 2,765 individuals were included. It was noted that out of the 4,500 questionnaires distributed, only 3,256 were returned, and 2,675 were usable. From the 2,765, 1,347 were men and 1,418 were female. The report was very unclear with how the sampling was done but that the design was “planned to conform to national census data with respect to sex, age, region of the country, income, education, and marital status” (Davis, 1993). Also, there were 125 individuals who were interviewed in depth but it is not clear whether they were a part of the 2,675 group or a separate group.
Results from “The Janus Report”
From the Janus Report, their findings reflect that there are changes in the American sexual behavior even after the Kinsey Reports. “Their questionnaire covered such diverse topics as masturbation, love, oral sex, homosexuality, premarital sex, singlehood and loneliness, extramarital affairs, sadomasochism, sexual harassment and sexual abuse” (Dodd, 1994). In the report, twelve of the chapters are dedicated to the results and findings of the study. In those twelve chapters also include many tables that summarize the findings, including excerpts from the in-depth interviews.
The Janus Report showed that people over the age of 65 still had sex on a regular basis. They were not only able, but eager (UPI, 2004). “Forty-five percent of single women and 38 percent of single men would still like to have children even without the benefits of marriage. Twenty-three percent of women and 11 percent of men reported having been sexually molested as children” (Dodd, 1994). One interesting finding showed that people have been more cautious when it comes to sex because of the AIDS epidemic; however, people were having sex with more people – especially among the most at-risk groups. The report stated that sixty-two percent of young men and 66 percent of young women increased their sexual activity compared to three years earlier. So from this, so much could have changed since the Kinsey Reports. Not only have sexual behavior changed but also sexual roles and beliefs. The findings show that “financial responsibility for the family is no longer a male prerogative and ‘the role of breadwinner is no longer an extension of a man’s masculinity’” (Frayser and Whitby, 1995). The results also showed that gender gap in sexual behavior are closing. “Janus and Janus conclude that individuals seem to prefer more selective sexual interaction rather than sexual experimentation with many partners” (Frayser and Whitby, 1995).
From the 125 in-depth interview, the Januses found the following:
17 percent of the female respondents and 22 percent of the males reported at least one homosexual encounter.
11 percent of the women and 14 percent of the men had some personal experience with sadomasochism.
The South has the youngest ages of sexual initiation and the most reported premarital sex.
Opinions on “The Janus Report” the book
Clive Davis wrote a journal for the
Journal of Sex Research
, stating that it would be hard to understand the statistics or the distinctions between correlation and causation or even the multivariate analysis. He also felt that it would’ve been appropriate to have footnotes and appendices in the book regarding the analysis. Davis also inputs that there are limitations in the book. Some question the representative of the samples of the general population. They believe that the individuals who were surveyed could be liberals or permissive in their behaviors compared to the general population.
Despite the opinions, as mentioned before, the Janus Report is still known to be the most comprehensive study done since Kinsey Reports. Clive Davis states that the Janus Report “contain a wealth of descriptive data concerning the sexuality-related beliefs, attitudes, and reported behaviors of nearly 3,000 people spread across the United States, broken down by common demographic variables” (Davis, 1993).
Davis, Clive M. (1993). A Reader’s Guide to The Janus Report.
Journal of Sex Research
30, Issue 4
Dodd, Matt. (1994). Samuel & Cynthia Janus. Retrieved from
Frayser, Suzanne G., and Thomas J. Whitby. (1995). Studies in Human Sexuality: A Selected
Guide Second Edition. Colorado: Libraries Unlimited.
Image on The Janus Report on Sexual Behavior. Retrieved April 10, 2011, from
Janus, Samuel S., and Cynthia L. Janus. (1993). The Janus Report on Sexual Behavior. New
UPI article on the Janus Report. Retrieved April 10, 2011, from
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