Girls experiencing sexual intercourse early: Could it play a part in reproductive health in middle adulthood?

Psychology Department, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology (Impact Factor: 1.88). 01/2007; 27(4):237-44. DOI: 10.1080/01674820600869006
Source: PubMed


The aim of the present study is to examine the possible relationship between experiencing early intercourse and reproductive health characteristics in midlife for women. The participants belonged to the Swedish longitudinal research program Individual Development and Adaptation (IDA) project. By the age of 14, the cohort consisted of 590 girls, whereas 522 gave information about the timing of their first sexual intercourse experience. Approximately 29 years later, when the women were 43 years old, a sub-cohort of 369 women participated in the psychological-medical investigation. Those who experienced early intercourse were likely to be different on various demographics and have markers of poorer reproductive health characteristics than their counterparts. More specifically, those experiencing early intercourse were less formally educated, left home earlier, and earned on average less than their counterparts who experienced sexual intercourse later. Early intercourse likely plays a role in not only specific reproductive health but also reproductive health characteristics as a whole in midlife. Early intercourse was consistently a predictor of teenage pregnancy, terminated pregnancies, no use of contraception, and having menstrual symptoms.

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Available from: Kari Trost, Apr 04, 2014
    • "Adolescent sexuality is considered natural and normative as long as it is monogamous. Although there are liberal views on monogamous sexual relations, on average, youths have their first sexual debut at 16.4 years for girls and 16.9 years for boys (Helmius, 1998) and early sexual encounters have been linked to negative outcomes (Magnusson & Trost, 2006), much like other countries. Fourth, the pattern of parenting with high control and high warmth may be beneficial for children but for adolescents, theoretically internalization of control should be in function, and in turn, less external parental control and regulation would be needed and as a result, parents may be more likely to show less control towards adolescents. "
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    • "We briefly review previous research, focusing on associations between sexual timing and outcomes in the realm of education, social relations, and well-being. Early sexual intercourse is associated with lower academic motivation and achievement in the short run (Bingham & Crockett, 1996; Martin et al., 2005) as well as lower educational attainment in the long run (Magnusson & Trost, 2006; Spriggs & Halpern, 2008b). The effects appear to be small, for men even more so than for women (Spriggs & Halpern, 2008b). "
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    ABSTRACT: The relation between timing of first sex and later delinquency was examined using a genetically informed sample of 534 same-sex twin pairs from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, who were assessed at three time points over a 7-year interval. Genetic and environmental differences between families were found to account for the association between earlier age at first sex and increases in delinquency. After controlling for these genetic and environmental confounds using a quasi-experimental design, earlier age at first sex predicted lower levels of delinquency in early adulthood. The current study is contrasted with previous research with non-genetically informative samples, including Armour and Haynie. Results suggest a more nuanced perspective on the meaning and consequences of adolescent sexuality than is commonly put forth in the literature.
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