Earlier sexual experiences may mean a healthier sex life later: Study

Who is to say what is right and wrong when it comes to sexual activity? Here is a study that shows how early sexual experiences lead to a better sex life later.
A study looks into the benefits of starting early. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Manasvi Jain Published on: 16 August 2022, 16:36 pm IST
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The right time to engage in sexual activity can be a matter of heated debate. While premarital sex continues to be a taboo, it is also becoming an increasing social reality across the world. But is there a right time to engage in sexual activity?

If you’re a parent, the thought of your child engaging in a sexual activity may worry you. But wait till you know what a study by Diana Peragine, a doctoral candidate in psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga, has to say!

As per the study, people with sexual experiences at an early age are more likely to have better sexual functioning when they grow up, and those who are late to these experiences are more likely to eventually face sexual difficulties. And sexual experiences encompasses other important firsts beyond intercourse – such as first sexual contact, first sexual stimulation and first orgasm!

What is the right age to start getting involved in sexual activity? Image courtesy: Shutterstock

There have been many studies which suggest differently. Study after study claims that sex at an early age can lead to a long list of negative outcomes in the long term, but Peragine decided to look at this matter more closely and arrived at a whole another conclusion.

Peragine, along with fellow University of T researchers Malvina Skorska, Jessica Maxwell and Professor Emily Impett and Associate Professor Doug VanderLaan, detailed their findings in the study “The Risks and Benefits of Being ‘Early to Bed’: Toward a Broader Understanding of Age at Sexual Debut and Sexual Health in Adulthood” in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

As many as 3,139 adults participated in this study and the researchers questioned about when they had their first sexual intercourse, sexual contact, sexual stimulation or an orgasm. They were also asked if they had any sexual difficulties with orgasm, desire, arousal and sexual satisfaction in the last 4 weeks.

Not having early sexual experiences can mess up your sex life later! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“Those with an earlier sexual debut had fewer sexual difficulties in many of these domains, and therefore healthier sexual function(ing),” Peragine says.

Now how do we define what is “early”? There can be various markers for it being “early” like before marriage or before adolescence but for this study the average age for sexual intercourse among the study’s participants was 17.

Adolescents are repeatedly told that they should abstain from any kind of sexual activity and that this not the “right time” but this is the time when their hormones force them to explore this side of human nature. Instead of forbidding them from this, they should be taught how to embrace this in a safe and healthy way.

Is it right to forbid teenagers from having sexual experiences? Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“Abstinence-only education stresses that no sexuality is healthy sexuality for adolescents. Our findings not only contradict this view, but (indicates) that efforts to delay sexual activity may carry a risk themselves.” she says.

Peragine added that abstinence-only education “might even be detrimental to young people’s sexual health in the long run – at least with respect to the functional and healthy sex.”

 

 

About the Author
Manasvi Jain

Manasvi Jain is a young, passionate writer exploring the world of health and wellness

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