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J Biosoc Sci. 1999 Jan;31(1):43-54.

Dopamine receptor genes are associated with age at first sexual intercourse.

Author information

1
Transnational Family Research Institute, Sunnyvale, CA 94086, USA.

Abstract

The dopaminergic system in the brain seems to play an important role in the regulation of sexual behaviour. The relationship between genes for the D1, D2 and D4 dopamine receptors and age at first sexual intercourse (AFSI) was examined in a sample of 414 non-Hispanic, European-American men and women. A significant association was observed between a DRD2 allele and AFSI and an even stronger association when the DRD2 allele was interacted with a DRD1 allele. A constrained regression model was constructed predicting AFSI using sex and a group of nine psychosocial variables as predictors. Adding the DRD2 and the DRD2-by-DRD1 predictors to this model increased the explained variance by 23 and 55%, respectively. Although these findings suggest a stronger association among males than among females, further research will be necessary to clarify this question, as well as to establish whether the observed association holds in other racial/ethnic groups.

PIP:

The dopaminergic system in the brain appears to play an important role in regulating sexual behavior. Specifically, findings to date suggest a major role for dopaminergic receptors in both the preparatory and consummatory phase of male sexual behavior, while its role in female sexual behavior is less conclusive. Findings also indicate that the D(2) subtype of dopamine receptor plays a key role in the control of male sexual behavior, although a D(1) and D(2) subtype interaction is suggested. The relationship between genes for the D(1), D(2), and D(4) dopamine receptors and age at first sexual intercourse (AFSI) was examined in a sample of 414 non-Hispanic, European-American, middle-class, married men and women in Santa Clara County, California. The men and women were of mean ages 31.6 and 29.6 years, respectively. A significant association was found between the DRD2 allele and AFSI, and an even stronger association when the DRD2 allele was interacted with a DRD1 allele. A constrained regression model was constructed predicting AFSI using sex and a group of 9 psychosocial variables as predictors. Adding the DRD2 and the DRD2-by-DRD1 predictors to the model increased the explained variance by 23% and 55%, respectively. While these findings suggest a stronger association among males than among females, further research is needed, as well as to establish whether the observed association holds in other racial/ethnic groups.

PMID:
10081236
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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