Health and Medical Care Archive

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National Health and Social Life Survey, 1992: [United States] (ICPSR 6647)

Principal Investigator(s): Laumann, Edward O., University of Chicago; Gagnon, John H., State University of New York-Stony Brook; Michael, Robert T., University of Chicago; Michaels, Stuart, University of Chicago


The purpose of this study was to collect extensive information on the sexual experiences and other social, demographic, attitudinal, and health-related characteristics of adults in the United States. The survey collected information on sexual practices with spouses/cohabitants and other sexual partners and collected background information about the partners. Major areas of investigation include sexual experiences such as number of sexual partners in given time periods, frequency of particular practices, and timing of various sexual events. The data cover childhood and adolescence, as well as adulthood. Other topics in the survey relate to sexual victimization, marriage and cohabitation, and fertility. Respondents were also queried about their physical health, including history of sexually transmitted diseases. Respondents' attitudes toward premarital sex, the appeal of particular practices such as oral sex, and levels of satisfaction with particular sexual relationships were also studied. Demographic items include race, education, political and religious affiliation, income, and occupation.

Access Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


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Study Description


Laumann, Edward O., John H. Gagnon, Robert T. Michael, and Stuart Michaels. National Health and Social Life Survey, 1992: [United States]. ICPSR06647-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-04-17.

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This study was funded by:

  • Ford Foundation
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (18403)
  • Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Rockefeller Foundation
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • New York Community Trust
  • American Foundation for AIDS Research

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    fertility, marriage, premarital sex, sexual attitudes, sexual awareness, sexual behavior

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1992-02--1992-09

Date of Collection:   

  • 1992-02--1992-09

Universe:    Noninstitutionalized United States population aged 18-59 able to complete an interview in English.

Data Type(s):    survey data


Sample:    Multistage area probability sample designed to give each household an equal probability of inclusion. Two samples were obtained: a cross-sectional sample (3,159 cases), and an oversample (273 cases) intended to increase the number of Blacks and Hispanics in the study. Overall response rate was 78.6 percent of the 4,369 eligible respondents selected for inclusion in the study.

Mode of Data Collection:    personal interviews and self-administered questionnaires


Original ICPSR Release:   1996-01-22

Version History:

  • 2008-04-17 Duplicate value labels were removed from the SPSS setup. Three incorrect and superfluous value labels for variable FIRSTVI were removed from the SPSS setup, codebook, and frequencies. ICPSR produced a Stata setup and SAS, SPSS, Stata, and tab-delimited versions of the data. In addition, the codebook and frequencies were converted to PDF format.

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