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Is "Sexual Competence" at First Heterosexual Intercourse Associated With Subsequent Sexual Health Status?

Palmer, MJ; Clarke, L; Ploubidis, GB; Mercer, CH; Gibson, LJ; Johnson, AM; Copas, AJ; (2016) Is "Sexual Competence" at First Heterosexual Intercourse Associated With Subsequent Sexual Health Status? The Journal of Sex Research , 54 (1) pp. 91-104. 10.1080/00224499.2015.1134424. Green open access

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Abstract

The timing of first sexual intercourse is often defined in terms of chronological age, with particular focus on "early" first sex. Arguments can be made for a more nuanced concept of readiness and appropriateness of timing of first intercourse. Using data from the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3), conducted in 2010-2012, this study examined whether a context-based measure of first intercourse-termed sexual competence-was associated with subsequent sexual health in a population-based sample of 17-to 24-year-olds residing in Britain (n = 2,784). Participants were classified as "sexually competent" at first intercourse if they reported the following four criteria: contraceptive protection, autonomy of decision (not due to external influences), that both partners were "equally willing," and that it happened at the "right time." A lack of sexual competence at first intercourse was independently associated with testing positive for human papillomavirus (HPV) at interview; low sexual function in the past year; and among women only, reported sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnosis ever; unplanned pregnancy in the past year; and having ever experienced nonvolitional sex. These findings provide empirical support for defining the nature of first intercourse with reference to contextual aspects of the experience, as opposed to a sole focus on chronological age at occurrence.

Type: Article
Title: Is "Sexual Competence" at First Heterosexual Intercourse Associated With Subsequent Sexual Health Status?
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/00224499.2015.1134424
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2015.1134424
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. This is an Open Access article. Non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly attributed, cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way, is permitted. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1488987
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