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Adolescence. 1990 Summer;25(98):321-32.

The relationship between early development and psychosexual behaviors in adolescent females.

Author information

1
Psychology Department, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602.

Abstract

The relationship between early sexual maturation and the psychosexual behaviors of dating and sexual intercourse was investigated using a national sample of adolescent females aged 15 to 19. Among both black and nonblack subjects, early-maturing girls were more likely to have experienced earlier dating and coital onset than were their later-maturing peers. Blacks experienced menarche and first intercourse at earlier ages, yet dating onset at later ages. Early menarche was also associated with marriage at an early age for nonblacks, but not for blacks. These racial differences were explained in terms of diverse socialization patterns or cultural expectations. For both blacks and nonblacks, those with earlier coital experience were found to have had menarche and dating onset at earlier ages.

PIP:

The relationship between early sexual maturation and the psychosexual behaviors of dating and sexual intercourse was investigated using a national sample of US adolescent females aged 15-19. The purpose of the study was to clarify the relationship between sexual maturation, dating onset, and premarital intercourse. It was hypothesized that a positive correlation exist between the age of menarche, age of dating onset, and age of 1st intercourse for both black and nonblack subjects. Also, it was hypothesized that those who have 1st intercourse at an early age will, when compared with those who have 1st intercourse at a moderate or later age, have experienced menarche and dating onset at earlier ages. The sample was divided into 2 racial categories: 581 blacks, and 1253 nonblacks. The variables studied included age at menarche, age began dating, ever had intercourse, and age at 1st intercourse. Statistical analysis was conducted on the data. For both blacks and nonblacks, the most commonly reported ages at menarche were 12 and 13. Among both black and nonblack subjects, early-maturing girls were more likely to have experienced earlier dating and coital onset than were their later- maturing peers. Blacks experienced menarche and 1st intercourse at an earlier age (black' mode=15 and nonblacks' mode=16), yet dating onset at later ages (blacks' mode=16 and nonblacks' mode=15). Early menarche was also associated with marriage at an early age for nonblacks, but not for blacks. These racial differences were explained in terms of diverse socialization patterns or cultural expectations. These differences include the differing interpretation of the ritual of dating and the more liberal attitudes existing concerning births outside marriage in the black culture. For both blacks and nonblacks, those with earlier coital experience were found to have had menarche and dating onset at earlier ages. There was a tendency for the majority of adolescent females to have complied with societal norms and engaged in psychosexual behaviors by the end of their teen years. Also, the results of this study suggest that early-maturing girl are prone to earlier psychosexual behaviors. Therefore, it is suggested that menarche be a target age for stressing sex education.

PMID:
2375259
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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