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: 1.59). 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.

1 Bookmark
 · 
116 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Past research on first sexual intercourse experiences and virginity has largely focused on using demographics such as age at first intercourse as predictors of future sexual behaviors and beliefs. Carpenter ( 2002 , 2005 ) suggested a model of three virginity metaphors that describe how individuals perceive their virginity: gift, stigma, and process. Using Carpenter's framework as a starting point, scale items were developed based on the conceptual understanding of the three metaphors. In Study 1 (N = 223, mean age = 19.9, SD = 2.4), 50 items were factor analyzed, yielding 22 items found to be strong indicators of the three metaphors; ten items for gift, eight for stigma, and four for process. The three subscales were validated using measures of gender-role beliefs and affective reactions to first intercourse. In Study 2 (N = 359, mean age = 19.7, SD = 2.4), confirmatory factor analysis was used to confirm the 22-item factor breakdown. The resulting Virginity Beliefs Scale is discussed in terms of how it applies to Carpenter's original framework and its future research potential.
    The Journal of Sex Research 01/2014; 51(1):107-120. · 2.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study examined pathways to early coital debut among early to middle adolescent girls in the United States. In a two-year longitudinal study of 104 adolescent girls, recursive partitioning (RP) analyses were conducted to examine the specific factors that were related to engaging in first intercourse by the 10th grade among adolescent girls who had not yet engaged in sexual intercourse by the 8th grade. RP analyses identified subsamples of girls who had low, medium, and high likelihoods of engaging in early coital debut based on six variables (i.e., school aspirations, early physical intimacy experiences, depression, body objectification, body image, and relationship inauthenticity). For example, girls in the lowest likelihood group (3% had engaged in sex by the 10th grade) reported no prior experiences with being touched under their clothes, low body objectification, high aspirations to complete graduate education, and low depressive symptoms; girls in the highest likelihood group (75% had engaged in sex by the 10th grade) also reported no prior experiences with being touched under their clothes, but had high levels of body objectification. The implications of these analyses for the development of female adolescent sexuality, as well as for advances in quantitative methods, are discussed.
    The Journal of Sex Research 04/2011; 49(1):13-26. · 2.53 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. · 2.72 Impact Factor

Full-text

Download
9 Downloads
Available from
May 28, 2014

Kari Trost