Generally, the time one experiences heterosexual sexual intercourse (e.g., vaginal-penile) for the first time; increasingly, sexual debut also includes sexual experiences not involving penile/vaginal intercourse such as anal intercourse.
Evolutionary theory posits that an integral developmental process in adolescence is the attainment of reproductive status. This occurs when an adolescent develops “physical and social competencies needed to gain access to a new and highly contested biological resource: sex and, ultimately, reproduction” (Ellis et al. 2012, p. 615). Through developing these competencies, adolescents and young adults may become sexually promiscuous and competitive (Weisfeld and Coleman 2005) leading them to engage in sexual behavior or experiencing their sexual debut. Considering the importance of this evolutionary milestone, it is essential that a...
- Abma, J., & Martinez, G. M. (2017). Sexual activity and contraceptive use among teenagers in the United States, 2011–2015 (Vol. 104). Hyattsville: National Center for Health Statistics.Google Scholar
- Brown, M. J., Masho, S. W., Perera, R. A., Mezuk, B., & Cohen, S. A. (2015). Sex and sexual orientation disparities in adverse childhood experiences and early age at sexual debut in the United States: Results from a nationally representative sample. Child Abuse & Neglect, 46, 89–102. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.02.019.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Carter, D. (2012). Comprehensive sex education for teens is more effective than abstinence. American Journal of Nursing, 112(3), 15. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.NAJ.0000412622.87884.a3.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Cavazos-Rehg, P. A., Krauss, M. J., Spitznagel, E. L., Schootman, M., Bucholz, K. K., Peipert, J. F., … Bierut, L. J. (2009). Age of sexual debut among US adolescents. Contraception, 80(2), 158–162. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.contraception.2009.02.014.
- Ellis, B. J., Del Giudice, M., Dishion, T. J., Figueredo, A. J., Gray, P., Griskevicius, V., … Wilson, D. S. (2012). The evolutionary basis of risky adolescent behavior: Implications for science, policy, and practice. Developmental Psychology, 48(3), 598–623. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0026220.
- glaad. (2017). Accelerating acceptance 2017 (pp. 1–8). Retrieved from http://www.glaad.org/files/aa/2017_GLAAD_Accelerating_Acceptance.pdf.
- Jordahl, T., & Lohman, B. J. (2009). A bioecological analysis of risk and protective factors associated with early sexual intercourse of young adolescents. Children and Youth Services Review, 31(12), 1272–1282. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2009.05.014.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- McCutcheon, V. V., Agrawal, A., Kuo, S. I.-C., Su, J., Dick, D. M., Meyers, J. L., … Bucholz, K. K. (2018). Associations of parental alcohol use disorders and parental separation with offspring initiation of alcohol, cigarette and cannabis use and sexual debut in high-risk families: Parent AUD and offspring first substance, sex. Addiction, 113(2), 336–345. https://doi.org/10.1111/add.14003.
- Moore, M. R., & Chase-Lansdale, P. L. (2001). Sexual intercourse and pregnancy among African American girls in high-poverty neighborhoods: The role of family and perceived community environment. Journal of Marriage and Family, 63(4), 1146–1157. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2001.01146.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Savolainen, J., Mason, W. A., Hughes, L. A., Ebeling, H., Hurtig, T. M., & Taanila, A. M. (2015). Pubertal development and sexual intercourse among adolescent girls: An examination of direct, mediated, and spurious pathways. Youth & Society, 47(4), 520–538. https://doi.org/10.1177/0044118X12471355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- United Nations. (2009). International technical guidance on sexuality education, Volumes 1 and 2. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.Google Scholar
- Vasilenko, S. A., Kugler, K. C., & Lanza, S. T. (2016). Latent classes of adolescent sexual and romantic relationship experiences: Implications for adult sexual health and relationship outcomes. The Journal of Sex Research, 53(7), 742–753. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2015.1065952.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Xu, Y., Norton, S., & Rahman, Q. (2018). Early life conditions, reproductive and sexuality-related life history outcomes among human males: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Evolution and Human Behavior, 39(1), 40–51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2017.08.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar