Teenage girls 'may regret early sex in life'

Teenage sex

Teenage girls who have sex early in life may feel disappointed and regret the experience, according to a new study.

A team at University of Western Australia has carried out the study and found that teenage girls who lose virginity when they aren't ready may finally end up having an unpleasant experience which they regret.

Lead researcher Dr Rachel Skinner said: "If they have sex at a young age, before they are ready, it is reflected on as an unpleasant experience which they regret. This is an undesirable outcome in itself.

"Early sexual activity is associated with a higher risk of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

This data goes some way to explaining the processes of early sexual activity in teenage girls."

Researchers have based their findings on an analysis of an interview of 68 teenage girls, aged 14 to 19, with the aim of better understanding the factors that influence sexual behaviour, including the first sexual experience in them.

The median age of participants was 17, while the age of their first experience of intercourse ranged from 11 to 17 years, with a median age of 14.

"Those who were 'ready' were more likely to have delayed intercourse until they were comfortable with both when and with whom this occurred.

"In contrast, we found that idealistic perceptions about sex and relationships, peer pressure, coercion from sexual partners and being drunk were common reasons for premature and unwanted first experience of sexual intercourse.

"This study is unusual and significant as we were able to give very young and older teenagers a confidential space in which to voice their views and experiences about a topic which is generally considered taboo in this age group.

"All participants spoke at length about the attitudes and experiences in relation to first intercourse, romantic relationships, sexual behaviour, contraception and pregnancy."

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