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Young women's degree of control over first intercourse: an exploratory analysis.
Fam Plann Perspect. 1998 Jan-Feb; 30(1):12-8.FP

Abstract

CONTEXT

While policymakers and researchers alike often seem to believe that young women's decision to initiate sexual intercourse is conscious and free of ambiguity, the actual degree of control that such young women exert over first intercourse has rarely been explicitly examined.

METHODS

The 1995 National Survey of Family Growth asked all women who had experienced intercourse to rate, on a 1-10 scale, the wantedness of their first intercourse; they were then asked whether the experience was voluntary. Logistic regression analysis of data for women aged 15-24 who had experienced first premarital intercourse was performed to test the effect of background factors and wantedness scores on contraceptive use at voluntary first intercourse.

RESULTS

Twenty-four percent of women aged 13 or younger at the time of their first premarital intercourse report the experience to have been nonvoluntary, compared with 10% of those aged 19-24 at first premarital intercourse. About one-quarter of respondents who reported their first intercourse as voluntary chose a low value (1-4) on the wantedness scale. Women whose first partner was seven or more years older than themselves were more than twice as likely as those whose first partner was the same age or younger to choose a low value (36% vs. 17%). Women whose partner had been seven or more years older were also less likely than other women to have used contraceptives at first intercourse. After the introduction of controls for demographic and background factors, partner age discrepancy and relationship status, wantedness of voluntary first intercourse was not independently related to the odds of contraceptive use at that intercourse.

CONCLUSION

Characterizing women's first intercourse as simply voluntary or nonvoluntary is inadequate. Measures that take into account degrees of wantedness may help elucidate relationships between sexual initiation, contraceptive use and teenage pregnancy. The fact that substantial numbers of young women voluntarily participated in a first sexual experience about which they felt ambivalent or negative deserves the attention of program planners and service providers.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Reproductive Statistics Branch, National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD, USA.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

9494810

Citation

Abma, J, et al. "Young Women's Degree of Control Over First Intercourse: an Exploratory Analysis." Family Planning Perspectives, vol. 30, no. 1, 1998, pp. 12-8.
Abma J, Driscoll A, Moore K. Young women's degree of control over first intercourse: an exploratory analysis. Fam Plann Perspect. 1998;30(1):12-8.
Abma, J., Driscoll, A., & Moore, K. (1998). Young women's degree of control over first intercourse: an exploratory analysis. Family Planning Perspectives, 30(1), 12-8.
Abma J, Driscoll A, Moore K. Young Women's Degree of Control Over First Intercourse: an Exploratory Analysis. Fam Plann Perspect. 1998 Jan-Feb;30(1):12-8. PubMed PMID: 9494810.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Young women's degree of control over first intercourse: an exploratory analysis. AU - Abma,J, AU - Driscoll,A, AU - Moore,K, PY - 1998/3/12/pubmed PY - 1998/3/12/medline PY - 1998/3/12/entrez KW - Adolescents KW - Adolescents, Female KW - Age Factors KW - Americas KW - Behavior KW - Contraception KW - Contraceptive Usage--determinants KW - Demographic Factors KW - Developed Countries KW - Family Planning KW - First Intercourse KW - Interpersonal Relations KW - North America KW - Northern America KW - Partner Communication KW - Population KW - Population Characteristics KW - Research Methodology KW - Research Report KW - Sampling Studies KW - Sex Behavior KW - Studies KW - Surveys KW - United States KW - Youth--women SP - 12 EP - 8 JF - Family planning perspectives JO - Fam Plann Perspect VL - 30 IS - 1 N2 - CONTEXT: While policymakers and researchers alike often seem to believe that young women's decision to initiate sexual intercourse is conscious and free of ambiguity, the actual degree of control that such young women exert over first intercourse has rarely been explicitly examined. METHODS: The 1995 National Survey of Family Growth asked all women who had experienced intercourse to rate, on a 1-10 scale, the wantedness of their first intercourse; they were then asked whether the experience was voluntary. Logistic regression analysis of data for women aged 15-24 who had experienced first premarital intercourse was performed to test the effect of background factors and wantedness scores on contraceptive use at voluntary first intercourse. RESULTS: Twenty-four percent of women aged 13 or younger at the time of their first premarital intercourse report the experience to have been nonvoluntary, compared with 10% of those aged 19-24 at first premarital intercourse. About one-quarter of respondents who reported their first intercourse as voluntary chose a low value (1-4) on the wantedness scale. Women whose first partner was seven or more years older than themselves were more than twice as likely as those whose first partner was the same age or younger to choose a low value (36% vs. 17%). Women whose partner had been seven or more years older were also less likely than other women to have used contraceptives at first intercourse. After the introduction of controls for demographic and background factors, partner age discrepancy and relationship status, wantedness of voluntary first intercourse was not independently related to the odds of contraceptive use at that intercourse. CONCLUSION: Characterizing women's first intercourse as simply voluntary or nonvoluntary is inadequate. Measures that take into account degrees of wantedness may help elucidate relationships between sexual initiation, contraceptive use and teenage pregnancy. The fact that substantial numbers of young women voluntarily participated in a first sexual experience about which they felt ambivalent or negative deserves the attention of program planners and service providers. SN - 0014-7354 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/9494810/Young_women's_degree_of_control_over_first_intercourse:_an_exploratory_analysis_ L2 - https://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3001298.html DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -