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ERIC Number: EJ951932
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 68
ISSN: ISSN-0361-6843
Awkward or Amazing: Gender and Age Trends in First Intercourse Experiences
Walsh, Jennifer L.; Ward, L. Monique; Caruthers, Allison; Merriwether, Ann
Psychology of Women Quarterly, v35 n1 p59-71 Mar 2011
Although research continues to highlight significant gender differences in first coital experiences, developmental approaches suggest that some of these patterns may be age-related. Therefore, this study investigated both gender and age differences in first intercourse experiences. Open-ended responses regarding reasons for, and descriptions of, first vaginal intercourse were provided by 323 sexually active undergraduate students (65.3% female; 75.7% White; M[subscript age] = 19.87) and coded into a range of categories. Several gender and age differences emerged, such that women's descriptions were generally less positive than men's, and women's reasons were more likely than men's to emphasize relationships and emotions. However, there were also a number of similarities in women's and men's experiences. Those who first experienced coitus during early adolescence were more likely to describe it as awkward, were less likely to describe it as positive, and differed in their reasons from those whose first coitus occurred later. Importantly, gender differences were less pronounced among older versus younger initiates, suggesting that commonly-identified gender differences may be developmentally specific. Future research focusing on subjective aspects of first intercourse experiences should carefully attend both to age or developmental stage and to gender similarities. (Contains 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A