A Prospective Study of the Sexual, Emotional, and Behavioral Correlates Associated With Young Women's First and Usual Coital Events

Amanda E. Tanner, Devon Hensel, J. Fortenberry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Context: First coitus is considered a major transitional event imbued with cultural relevance. Research has focused on classifying women as virgins, with primary interest in pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection prevention and less on sexuality. This study prospectively explored young women's sexual interest and love at first and subsequent coitus. Methods: Daily diary data were collected during a longitudinal study of young women's sexual health (N = 387; 14-17 years at enrollment). Variables of interest included sexual interest, love, and contraceptive and disease prevention behaviors. Analysis of variance and multinomial logistic regression were utilized. Results: For first coital events, love and sexual interest were reported about "half of the day," with sexual interest significantly higher on the day of first coitus. Condom use was nine times more likely than no method at first compared to later coital events. For subsequent coitus, feeling of being in love was significantly higher compared to first coitus, with average sexual interest and love significantly higher with use of no contraceptive method over condoms. Condoms were associated with higher feelings of being in love, but lower sexual interest compared to hormonal contraception. Conclusions: The results indicated that sexual interest and love are independent components of coital behavior. Yet the results also suggest that young women's first coitus does not fully capture the expected significance of "losing one's virginity." Thus, at first coitus, women can actively engage in protective behaviors and focus on pleasure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-25
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Volume47
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010

Fingerprint

Love
Coitus
Prospective Studies
Condoms
Contraception
Emotions
Sexual Abstinence
Pleasure
Reproductive Health
Sexuality
Women's Health
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Contraceptive Agents
Longitudinal Studies
Analysis of Variance
Logistic Models
Pregnancy
Research

Keywords

  • Contraception
  • Sexual behavior
  • Sexual health
  • Sexual initiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

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title = "A Prospective Study of the Sexual, Emotional, and Behavioral Correlates Associated With Young Women's First and Usual Coital Events",
abstract = "Context: First coitus is considered a major transitional event imbued with cultural relevance. Research has focused on classifying women as virgins, with primary interest in pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection prevention and less on sexuality. This study prospectively explored young women's sexual interest and love at first and subsequent coitus. Methods: Daily diary data were collected during a longitudinal study of young women's sexual health (N = 387; 14-17 years at enrollment). Variables of interest included sexual interest, love, and contraceptive and disease prevention behaviors. Analysis of variance and multinomial logistic regression were utilized. Results: For first coital events, love and sexual interest were reported about {"}half of the day,{"} with sexual interest significantly higher on the day of first coitus. Condom use was nine times more likely than no method at first compared to later coital events. For subsequent coitus, feeling of being in love was significantly higher compared to first coitus, with average sexual interest and love significantly higher with use of no contraceptive method over condoms. Condoms were associated with higher feelings of being in love, but lower sexual interest compared to hormonal contraception. Conclusions: The results indicated that sexual interest and love are independent components of coital behavior. Yet the results also suggest that young women's first coitus does not fully capture the expected significance of {"}losing one's virginity.{"} Thus, at first coitus, women can actively engage in protective behaviors and focus on pleasure.",
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