Long-Term Benefits Of Delaying First Sex Appear to Be Limited

Journal Article
Year Published: 2008
Guttmacher Institute
Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 40(2); 2008
Guttmacher Institute

In this article, the author highlights findings on the long-term benefits of delaying first sex, based on an analysis of data from the National Sexual Health Survey. For men, early intercourse was positively associated with reports of almost every behavioral risk examined and of erectile, sexual arousal and orgasm problems. It was negatively associated with participants' assessments of their general health and was not related to their views of their sexual relationships. Among women, those who had started having sex early had an increased likelihood of reporting most risk-related behaviors, but not of other adverse outcomes.
By contrast, both men and women who had started having sex late had reduced odds
of reporting any risky partners in the previous year or in the previous five years, and were less likely than their peers with a normative start to deny their vulnerability to STDs. Additionally, men who had first sex late reported fewer partners in the past five years than those who had done so at a normative age, and women with a late start had reduced odds of saying that they had frequently had sex while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

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