Article

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: 1.23). 01/2007; 27(4):237-44. DOI: 10.1080/01674820600869006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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.

2 Followers
 · 
232 Views
  • Source
    • "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). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The present article challenges the assumption that later timing of sexual experiences is unequivocally associated with higher psychosocial adjustment. Data from two representative cross-sectional German studies conducted in 1996 and 2005 were analyzed to examine the psychosocial adjustment of young adults (age 20–29) who had their first sexual experiences early (before age 16), at an average age (between age 16 and 18), or late (later than age 18 or not yet). Early timing of sexual experiences was associated with lower educational attainment. Late timing of sexual experiences was associated with poorer social relations. Early and late timing of sexual experiences were associated with lower subjective well-being. Results were replicated across the two studies and controlled for sociodemographic characteristics and (in Study 1) early adversities, parental involvement, and pubertal timing. These findings show that not only early but also late timing of first sexual experiences can be associated with lower psychosocial adjustment in selected domains in young adulthood. Further research is needed to understand maladaptive correlates of late sexual timing.
    European Psychologist 01/2012; 17(3):199-212. DOI:10.1027/1016-9040/a000082 · 1.31 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    Journal of Youth and Adolescence 04/2008; 37(4):373-385. DOI:10.1007/s10964-007-9228-9 · 2.72 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although sexual debut has been negatively associated with adolescent educational performance and aspirations, it is not clear whether such relationships continue beyond adolescence. Initiation of postsecondary education by young adulthood was assessed among 3,965 participants in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health who had not experienced sexual intercourse at baseline. Associations between age at sexual debut and educational progress were examined in bivariate and multivariable Poisson regression analyses. Most respondents experienced sexual debut during adolescence: 15% before age 16 (early) and 53% at ages 16-18 (typical). Sixty-five percent of respondents initiated postsecondary education by early adulthood; however, the proportion was significantly lower among those who had had an early (49%) or typical sexual debut (63%) than among those who debuted late (78%). In unadjusted analyses, early and typical debut were associated with a reduced likelihood of initiation of postsecondary education for both females (relative risk ratios, 0.6 and 0.8, respectively) and males (0.7 and 0.8). However, in adjusted analyses, the associations were attenuated for females (0.8 and 0.9) and were at best marginally significant for males. Childbearing was a significant mediator of this relationship. Adolescent sexual debut appears to be modestly negatively associated with early adult postsecondary education initiation, particularly for females. Targeting mediators of the sexual debut-education relationship, such as early childbearing, could lead to effective interventions.
    Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 10/2008; 40(3):152-61. DOI:10.1363/4015208 · 2.00 Impact Factor
Show more