Increasing discussion about sexual activity between a teenager and an older partner has emerged because trends such as increases in risky sexual behaviors and also drug and alcohol use among the younger individual has emerged.
In this research study, Child Trends analyzed data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth that looked at first sexual encounters between young teens aged 15 years old and younger with individuals three years or more older. Patterns surrounding the family structure, experience level of the teen, and also trends surrounding first sexual encounters are reported in the brief. From the analyses of the data, several trends emerged:
- “Young males, as well as young females, are a risk group.” (p.6)
- “Most of these sexual experiences occur between young teens and older teens, rather than between young teens and adults aged 20 or older.” (p.6)
- “The youngest teens are at most risk.” (p.6)
- “Most of the sexual experiences are voluntary.” (p.7)
Citation: Manlove, J., Moore, K., Liechty, J., Ikramullah, E., Cottingham, S. (2005). Sex Between Young Teens and Older Individuals: A Demographic Portrait. Child Trends Research Brief. Washington, D.C.: Child Trends., p. 1-8