Age of Sexual Debut Among US Adolescents (2009)


This study examines gender and racial/ethnic differences in sexual debut, computing the probability of not becoming sexually active from the age of 12 to 17. The survey used for this study is the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS). The study finds that African American youth have the earliest sexual debut. The study also recommends that sex education programs should be racially and ethnically sensitive.

  • “African-American males experienced sexual debut earlier than all other groups.”
  • “Asian males and females experienced sexual debut later than all groups.”
  • “The probability for sexual debut by their 17th birthday was greatest for African Americans (74% females, 82% males) and Hispanic males (69%).”

Citation: Cavazos-Rehg, P.A., Krauss, M.J., Spitznagel, E.L., Schootman, M., Bucholz, K.K., Peipert, J.F., Sanders-Thompson, V., Cottler, L.B. (2009). Age of sexual debut among US adolescents. Contraceptions. Vol. 80., No. 2. p. 158-162

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