Wyatt, Gail E.; Durvasula, R. S.; Guthrie, D.; LeFranc, Elsie R-M. ; Forge, N.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Correlates of first intercourse among women in Jamaica
Archives of Sexual Behavior
Date of Publication
Examines retrospective reports of factors anticipated to impact first intercourse in a random sample of 897 Jamaican women, and contributes to our understanding of the relationship between sexual risk, knowledge, and economic and demographic correlates of first intercourse. A relationship between initiation of intercourse prior to the age of consent (16 years) and factors occurring at or around the time of first intercourse was found. Early initiators were more likely to have had less early family stability and to have experienced menarche at a younger age than late initiators. Although early initiators of intercourse were more likely to report lower socioeconomic status, less STD knowledge, and greater numbers of pregnancies, they were no more likely to report more sexual partners than women who engaged in first intercourse after the age of consent, and had a greater number of long-term relationships. Regardless of age of first intercourse, women need to be made aware of the risks of sexual contact so that they can make informed decisions about the consequences of sexual activity. Overall, results are consistent with work conducted in other parts of the Caribbean and America regarding the age at which young women engage in first intercourse. Findings suggest the need for further work exploring expectations at first intercourse such as marriage, economic support, or relationship stability. Implications of these findings are discussed within the context of economic and structural factors that both increase and decrease risks.....