Losing virginity at early or late age tied with health risks

Prison Mike

Don't drop the soap!
Feb 18, 2007
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Losing virginity early or late tied to health risks
Tue Dec 4, 2:43 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who start having sex at a younger or older than average age appear to be at greater risk of developing sexual health problems later in life, a new study suggests.
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The findings, according to researchers, cast some doubts on the benefits of abstinence-only sexual education that has been introduced in U.S. public schools.
Using data from a 1996 cross-sectional survey of more than 8,000 U.S. adults, the researchers found that those who started having sex at a relatively young age were more likely to have certain risk factors for sexually transmitted diseases (STD) -- including a high number of sexual partners and a history of having sex under the influence of alcohol.
On the other hand, both "early" and "late" starters were at increased risk of problems in sexual function. This was true primarily of men, whose problems included difficulty maintaining an erection and reaching orgasm.
The findings are published in the American Journal of Public Health.
It's not clear from the survey why both early and late starters tend to have more sexual dysfunction, according to the researchers, led by Dr. Theo G.M. Sandfort of Columbia University in New York City.
But the findings, they write, "only partially support" abstinence-only sex education -- which encourages teenagers to save sex for marriage.
"Although our findings support an association between early initiation and long-term (STD) risk, they also suggest a more complicated picture of sexual functioning," Sandfort and his colleagues write.
Delaying sexual activity may "create health risks by impeding development of the emotional, cognitive, and interpersonal skills that are crucial to satisfactory sexual functioning and general well-being," they add.
On average, respondents said they had sex for the first time around the ages of 17 or 18. Those who had their first sexual encounter at average age of 14 were considered "early starters" and those who started at age 22 or older were considered "later starters."
It's not possible to determine cause-and-effect from the survey data, according to the researchers. For example, young men with sexual problems may start having intercourse at a later age, contributing to the link between later sexual "debut" and higher odds of sexual dysfunction.
However, Sandfort's team adds, the findings lend credence to other studies suggesting that abstinence-only education may actually increase the risk of certain health problems.
"Sexual education that is more supportive and acknowledges the diverse needs of young people might prevent the negative outcomes observed here," the researchers write.
SOURCE: American Journal of Public Health, January 2008.


Article seems like a really long way of saying "Practice makes perfect."
For the fellas, just keep jerking it if you're a virgin. Keep that prostate going. And you'll have no problems maintaining an erection. Yeah, it's frowned upon if you are conservative or religious, but you got to do what you got to do. Better in your hand than risking getting some girl that you don't plan on marrying pregnant.

:o :up:
Unless I'm reading that wrong, you should basically lose it when you go to senior Prom or go off to college.
Who would have thought have a lot of sex when you're young could lead to STD's?

Hmmm..well sir, I raise you this:

Forty-year-old virgin? Don't panic! Losing your virginity later in life helps you enjoy more satisfying relationships, say scientists

People who lose their virginity later than their teenage years are more likely to enjoy satisfying relationships later in life, according to a new study.

Researchers found that people who didn’t have sex until they turned 20 or even later are more likely to end up in a happy relationship.

However, these people are less likely to be married and are also more likely to have had a university education and work in a well-paid job.
Dr Harden added: 'Individuals who first navigate intimate relationships in young adulthood, after they have accrued cognitive and emotional maturity, may learn more effective relationship skills than individuals who first learn scripts for intimate relationships while they are still teenagers.'

Honestly though, I always take these studies with a grain of salt. Yeah there may be a risk, but that doesn't mean that it's actually going to happen. And, there also seems to be a counter study that suggests otherwise.
I'm not in favor of abstinence-only education, but I don't think that option should be thrown out on principle either. As for the article, it makes a certain degree of sense for the young, because the reproductive system doesn't even start advancing until age 13 or so...and in some cases, it may not finish until the person's early 20s.
It's finding that sweet spot (pun partially intended) between too young and and too old for sex. You don't want to ruin it for yourself or your partner by either starting too soon or too late.

Those two studies aren't necessarily contradictory, being 17-22 is roughly young adulthood and the right time to experiment and find out who you are. Safely as possible of course.

Though I do agree I'm not going to cite either study as definitive proof of anything, they do have a correlation that being too young is potentially damaging but it also shows waiting too long can be as bad.
I'll make sure to show that article to some people in my year :o
Which is the goal of most people.
I can't help but feel there's a conservative tilt with this "research"
Casting doubt on abstinence only education is conservative?
What isn't tied with health risks these days?

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