"Most people I know that have oral sex only do it because everyone else does, and if you don't, you're frigid," the Age quoted a 16-year-old girl as telling the researchers.

Despite this, the survey of 250 young women's attitudes towards oral sex, found that young women were overwhelmingly positive about oral sex - 82 percent said they found it "enjoyable and rewarding".

Sex and relationships, Oral sex

The most common reason for having oral sex, according to the survey was: "It feels good."

While some of the young women said the practice promoted intimacy, a quarter of those surveyed saw oral sex as a less intimate alternative to penetrative sex, for which they said "they weren't ready".

A further 14 percent considered oral sex safer than other forms of sex, because there was no risk of pregnancy and less risk of picking up a sexually transmitted disease.

The study has been published in the latest Youth Studies Australia journal.