Age of sexual debut among US adolescents

Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.
Contraception (Impact Factor: 2.34). 08/2009; 80(2):158-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.contraception.2009.02.014
Source: PubMed


This study examined gender and racial/ethnic differences in sexual debut.
We analyzed 1999-2007 data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), a cross-sectional, nationally representative survey of students in Grades 9-12 established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to compute the probability of survival (not having become sexually active) at each year (age 12 through 17), and separate estimates were produced for each level of gender and racial/ethnic group.
African-American males experienced sexual debut earlier than all other groups (all tests of significance at p<.001) and Asian males and females experienced sexual debut later than all groups (all tests of significance at p<.001). By their 17th birthday, the probability for sexual debut was less than 35% for Asians (females 28%, males 33%) and less than 60% for Caucasians (58% females, 53% males) and Hispanic females (59%). The probability for sexual debut by their 17th birthday was greatest for African Americans (74% females, 82% males) and Hispanic males (69%).
These results demonstrate a need for sexual education programs and policy to be sensitive to the roles of race and ethnicity in sexual debut.

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Available from: Melissa Krauss, Oct 10, 2015
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    • "African-American youth, particularly male youth, are more likely than their peers in other racial/ethnic groups to report sexual debut at younger ages [2]. By age 13, African- American youth are more than twice as likely to have experienced sexual intercourse than Caucasian, Latino, and Asian youth [3]. Early sexual onset places youth at risk for a number of health hazards, including multiple sexual partnerships, recent sexual Disclaimer: The contents are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the National Institute on Drug Abuse or the National Institutes of Health. "
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    ABSTRACT: Early sexual onset and its consequences disproportionately affect African-American youth, particularly male youth. The dopamine receptor D4 gene (DRD4) has been linked to sexual activity and other forms of appetitive behavior, particularly for male youth and in combination with environmental factors (gene × environment [G × E] effects). The differential susceptibility perspective suggests that DRD4 may exert this effect by amplifying the effects of both positive and negative environments. We hypothesized that DRD4 status would amplify the influence of both positive and negative neighborhood environments on early sexual onset among male, but not female, African-Americans. Hypotheses were tested with self-report, biospecimen, and census data from five prospective studies of male and female African-American youth in rural Georgia communities, N = 1,677. Early sexual onset was defined as intercourse before age 14. No significant G × E findings emerged for female youth. Male youth with a DRD4 long allele were more likely than those with two DRD4 short alleles to report early sexual onset in negative community environments and not to report early onset in positive community environments. Dopaminergic regulation of adolescent sexual behaviors may operate differently by gender. DRD4 operated as an environmental amplification rather than a vulnerability factor.
    Journal of Adolescent Health 04/2014; 55(2). DOI:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.02.019 · 3.61 Impact Factor
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    • "A 2011 CDC survey found that 47% of high school students reported having sexual intercourse, 6.2% reported having intercourse before age 13, and an alarming 39.8% reported not using a condom during their last intercourse [4]. The average reported age of first sexual intercourse in the USA is age 14.4, with more males than females (9.0% versus 3.4%, resp.), and more African-American teens than other racial/ethnic groups reporting sexual activity before age 13—highlighting a common racial disparity pattern [4] [5]. Although data exist regarding HIV risk and prevalence rates, questions remain about what factors are most predictive of subsequent HIV risk behavior among adolescents and young adults, and thus what strategies could potentially alter this trajectory. "
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    ABSTRACT: Researchers examining injection drug users (IDUs) in drug treatment have been trying for decades to determine the optimal way to intervene to prevent the transmission and spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in this population. Although efficacious HIV risk reduction interventions are widely available, questions remain about what specific factors are most related to HIV risk behavior and defined as unprotected sexual activity and/or high risk drug use. This review involved an evaluation of the research literature in order to better understand the association between drug use and sexual behavior debut on HIV risk behavior. Findings suggest that drug use debut and sexual behavior debut may be related to subsequent HIV risk behavior. Evidence to date implies that intervening at an earlier age to assist youth to avoid or delay these high risk behaviors may be an additional means of reducing subsequent HIV risk.
    12/2013; 2013(4):976035. DOI:10.1155/2013/976035
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    • "Since adolescents spend only about half their time at home [13], environments outside the home may exert substantial influence on adolescents' health-related behaviors. In particular, behaviors such as cigarette smoking, alcohol and other drug use, and partnered sexual activity are associated with substantial morbidity in adolescence and have been linked to neighborhood and community influences, independent of those found in the home and family [14]–[17]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Various forms of community disorder are associated with health outcomes but little is known about how dynamic context where an adolescent spends time relates to her health-related behaviors. Assess whether exposure to contexts associated with crime (as a marker of community disorder) correlates with self-reported health-related behaviors among adolescent girls. Girls (N = 52), aged 14-17, were recruited from a single geographic urban area and monitored for 1 week using a GPS-enabled cell phone. Adolescents completed an audio computer-assisted self-administered interview survey on substance use (cigarette, alcohol, or marijuana use) and sexual intercourse in the last 30 days. In addition to recorded home and school address, phones transmitted location data every 5 minutes (path points). Using ArcGIS, we defined community disorder as aggregated point-level Unified Crime Report data within a 200-meter Euclidian buffer from home, school and each path point. Using Stata, we analyzed how exposures to areas of higher crime prevalence differed among girls who reported each behavior or not. Participants lived and spent time in areas with variable crime prevalence within 200 meters of their home, school and path points. Significant differences in exposure occurred based on home location among girls who reported any substance use or not (p 0.04) and sexual intercourse or not (p 0.01). Differences in exposure by school and path points were only significant among girls reporting any substance use or not (p 0.03 and 0.02, respectively). Exposure also varied by school/non-school day as well as time of day. Adolescent travel patterns are not random. Furthermore, the crime context where an adolescent spends time relates to her health-related behavior. These data may guide policy relating to crime control and inform time- and space-specific interventions to improve adolescent health.
    PLoS ONE 11/2013; 8(11):e77667. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0077667 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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