Self-esteem plays an apparent role in the loss of virginity among adolescents, according to a study by researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine published in the April issue of Pediatrics. Self-esteem had opposite effects on young girls and young boys. Young girls with high self-esteem were less likely to engage in early sexual activity, while young boys with high self-esteem were more likely to report being sexually active. Zimet, Ph. Students completed a questionnaire and were administered a standardized test measuring self-esteem at the beginning of seventh grade.
UVA Today Supplemental
To identify the most important social and personal characteristics related to early sexual debut among troubled teenagers. One hundred ninety-eight youths aged 12—19 years were recruited from outpatient mental health clinics and completed self-reports and interviews about their age of sexual debut; family, peer, and partner relationships e. Three social context variables parental hostile control, negative and positive peer influence and one personal characteristic externalizing problems correctly classified
The uproar that followed a November episode of Fox's "Glee" in which two teen couples had sex for the first time may have some scientific legs. New research shows sex during the adolescent years could affect mood and brain development into adulthood. The study, which was carried out on hamsters, reveals how social experiences during adolescence when the brain is still developing can have broad consequences, say the researchers from Ohio State University College of Medicine. Specifically, the animals that mated earlier in life had higher levels of depressive behaviors, changes to the brain and smaller reproductive tissues compared to those that had intercourse later or not at all. Morris and his colleagues cautioned, however, that the study should not be used to promote teenage abstinence , as they noted the research was carried out on hamsters and it isn't certain the same conclusion will hold for humans. As such, more research is needed understand the effects of sex during puberty.
Youth who initiate sexual intercourse in early adolescence age 11—14 experience multiple risks, including concurrent adjustment problems and unsafe sexual practices, The current study tested two models describing the links between childhood precursors, early adolescent risk factors, and adolescent sexual activity: a cumulative model and a meditational model, A longitudinal sample of boys and girls from four geographical locations was utilized, with data collected from kindergarten through high school. Structural equation models revealed that, irrespective of gender or race, high rates of aggressive disruptive behaviors and attention problems at school entry increased risk for a constellation of problem behaviors in middle school school maladjustment, antisocial activity, and substance use which, in turn, promoted the early initiation of sexual activity. Implications are discussed for developmental models of early sexual activity and for prevention programming. The initiation of sexual activity is a major milestone for many adolescents on the road to adulthood. Early initiation of sexual intercourse i. In addition, girls who initiate intercourse early are at higher risk for unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases compared with girls who delay intercourse until late adolescence Crockett et al, ; Leitenberg and Saltzman These statistics point towards a clinical and societal need to explore the predictors of early sexual activity, in order to better inform preventive interventions. Although a significant body of research has documented the concurrent risky behaviors that characterize sexually active teenagers in cross-sectional samples, very few studies have examined childhood precursors of early sexual activity.