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J Adolesc. 2011 Apr;34(2):327-35. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2010.04.005. Epub 2010 May 21.

Body image and first sexual intercourse in late adolescence.

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  • 1Pennsylvania State University, S110 Henderson, University Park, PA 16802, United States.


Sexual behavior is associated with body image, but the directionality of this association is unclear. This study used longitudinal data from a sample of previously abstinent college students (N = 100, 45% female, 49% European American, 26% Latino American, 25% African American) to test whether satisfaction with appearance changed after first intercourse. Male students were more satisfied with their appearance after first intercourse, whereas female students became slightly less satisfied with their appearance. These findings demonstrate that first intercourse can lead to changes in well-being, even if the transition takes places in late adolescence. In addition, they suggest that gendered cultural expectations regarding sexual behavior are associated with differing psychological outcomes for male and female adolescents.

Copyright © 2010 The Association for Professionals in Services for Adolescents. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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