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Pediatrics. 2007 Feb;119(2):229-36.

Adolescents' reported consequences of having oral sex versus vaginal sex.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Health Psychology Program, University of California, San Francisco, 3333 California St, Box 0848, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA.



The present study examined whether adolescents' initial consequences of sexual activity differ according to type of sexual activity and gender.


Surveys were administered to 618 adolescents recruited from 2 public high schools in the autumn of ninth grade (2002) and at 6-month intervals until the spring of tenth grade (2004). Analyses were limited to the 275 adolescents (44%) who reported engaging in oral sex and/or vaginal sex at any assessment. Participants were 14 years of age at study entry, 56% female, and of diverse socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds.


In comparison with adolescents who engaged in oral sex and/or vaginal sex, adolescents who engaged only in oral sex were less likely to report experiencing a pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection, feeling guilty or used, having their relationship become worse, and getting into trouble with their parents as a result of sex. Adolescents who engaged only in oral sex were also less likely to report experiencing pleasure, feeling good about themselves, and having their relationship become better as a result of sex. Boys were more likely than girls to report feeling good about themselves, experiencing popularity, and experiencing a pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection as a result of sex, whereas girls were more likely than boys to report feeling bad about themselves and feeling used.


Adolescents experience a range of social and emotional consequences after having sex. Our findings have implications for clinical practice and public health campaigns targeted toward youth.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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