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Study Shows Sexual Intimacy Often Occurs Early in Teen Romance

  • August 15th, 2003 by Pastor Darryl Curtis   |  0 Comments

By Jim Brown August 15, 2003

(AgapePress) – A new report finds that teens’ first sexual relationships are often shortterm and sometimes involve physical violence.

Researchers are calling it the most current sampling of teen relationship behavior available. The study, conducted by Washington-based Child Trends, reveals that teens often view their first sexual encounter as romantic, rather than as a “casual fling.” Lead author Dr. Suzanne Ryan says the report also tracks how long teens have been involved in relationships before losing their virginity.

“We found … that those teens who are in a romantic relationship and choose to have sex often [do it] within the first three months,” Ryan says, emphasizing that many teens choose not to engage in sexual intercourse and that this study looked only at those who do.

According to the study, 61% of sexually experienced teens began having intercourse within that 90-day period. It also indicates that sexually active teens under the age of 15 are more likely to have older sexual partners.

Ryan says the study highlights the importance of frequent parent-teen communication — and that it happen early in the teens’ relationship.

“There’s a relatively small window of opportunity for parents and educators to talk to teens once they start a relationship … about delaying sex or using contraception,” the researcher says. “And if [parents] don’t intervene in those early months and [choose to] wait until they think the relationship has gone on long enough to be serious, it might be too late and the teens may have already started having sex.”

The report, titled “The First Time: Characteristics of Teens’ First Sexual Relationships,” reveals that on average, teen relationships which transition into first-time sex last about six months.

© 2003 AgapePress all rights reserved.

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