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The premise that there is an ideal age to start a person’s sexual lifehas always been surrounded by myths, beliefs, moral beliefs and even studies that try to decipher when the perfect time is.
A study developed by the doctoral candidate in psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga, Diana Peragine, explains that people with sexual experiences at a young age are more likely to have better sexual functioning when they grow up.
In contrast, those who arrive late to these experiences are more likely to eventually face sexual difficulties. And sexual experiences encompass other important firsts beyond intercourse, such as first sexual contact, first sexual stimulation, and first orgasm.
Peragine, along with other T Malvina Skorska University researchers Jessica Maxwell and Professor Emily Impett and Associate Professor Doug VanderLaan, detailed their findings in the study “The Risks and Benefits of Being ‘Early to Bed’: Towards a Better broader understanding of age at sexual debut and sexual health in later life” in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
A total of 3,139 adults participated in this study and the researchers asked when they had their first sexual intercourse, sexual contact, sexual stimulation, or orgasm. They were also asked if they had any sexual difficulties with orgasm, desire, arousal, and sexual satisfaction in the past 4 weeks.
“Those with a previous sexual debut had fewer sexual difficulties in many of these domainstherefore healthier sexual functioning,” says Peragine.
How an “early” sexual initiation is determined
The study explains that when first sexual intercourse was strictly defined, earlier sexual initiation was associated with adverse sexual events, including involuntary sexual intercourse, termination and/or loss of pregnancy, and reproductive diseases, infections, or injuries that affect sexual activity.
However, it was also linked to healthier sexual function, including less pain during vaginal penetration, better orgasmic functioning and less sexual inhibition.
The research concluded that from a risk-based perspective, earlier intercourse is negatively related to sexual health. However, it is also associated with healthy sexual function. In fact, the earliest sexual initiation may confer more benefits than risks when sexual debuts beyond intercourse are considered.
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