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J Sex Res. 2014;51(1):97-106. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2012.719169. Epub 2012 Dec 13.

Longitudinal consistency in self-reported age of first vaginal intercourse among young adults.

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  • 1a Department of Maternal and Child Health , The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


We examined consistency in self-reports of age at first vaginal sex among 9,399 male and female respondents who participated in Waves III and IV (separated by approximately seven years) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Respondents were coded as consistent if they reported an age at first vaginal intercourse at Wave IV that was within one year of the age they reported at Wave III. Sociodemographic, behavioral, and cognitive predictors of consistency were examined using bivariate and multivariate logistic regression. Overall, 85.43% of respondents were able to provide consistent reports. Among both males and females, consistency was associated with age, years since first vaginal intercourse, race/ethnicity, and lifetime number of other-sex partners in final multivariate models. Respondents who were older and had more recently had their first sexual experience were more likely to be consistent. For females only, those who reported a history of nonparental, physically forced sex were less likely to be consistent. Most young adults consistently report age at first vaginal intercourse, supporting the credibility of retrospective self-reports about salient sexual events such as timing of first vaginal intercourse.

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