I’ve been unable to locate a good recent source of statistics on adult thumb sucking. Since the habit is considered socially unacceptable, it’s hard to tell how many adults suck their thumbs and any other characteristics linked to thumb sucking. Here are a couple of interesting blurbs I was able to find:
A number of years ago, The Wall Street Journal ran a story on how up to 10 percent of adults still suck their thumbs…
And just who are these approximately 10 percent of adult thumb suckers?
Nobody presumes to guesstimate numbers with any degree of accuracy, but a Fullerton, Calif., dentist has 400 patients who are thumb-suckers, one New York psychoanalyst, Dr. Eleanor Galenson, reports her patients include a bank executive, a college professor and “thumb-sucking is very common among stockbrokers.”
How about these statistics on adult thumb suckers from a 1999 web survey?
It’s apparent that those of you who respond are two thirds female and only one third male… The predominant associated comfort behavior is placing the finger over the nose… Roughly one in four respondants masturbate while sucking their thumb… Among our respondants there is an equal percentage that were and were not breast fed.
Interesting percentage and breakdown of adult thumb sucking, huh? I wish there were more data about the percentage of adults who are thumbsuckers. Know of any recent polls or studies? Let me know!