216161 A prospective comparison of young women's first and later coital experiences: The influence of sexual interest and love on protective behaviors

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 8:30 AM - 8:50 AM

Amanda E. Tanner, PhD, MPH , Bloomberg Scool of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Devon Hensel, PhD , Section of Adolescent Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
J. Dennis Fortenberry, MD, MS , Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
Purpose: First coitus is considered a major transitional event imbued with cultural relevance. Research has focused on classifying women as virgins with the primary interest in pregnancy and STI prevention and less on sexuality. This study prospectively explored young women's sexual interest, love, and protective behaviors at first and later coitus.

Methods: Longitudinal daily diary data were collected about young women's sexual health (N=387; 14-17 years at enrollment). Variables of interest—sexual interest, love, and contraceptive and disease prevention behaviors—were analyzed utilizing multinomial logistic regression and ANOVA.

Results: For first coital events, love and sexual interest were reported about ‘half of the day' with sexual interest significantly higher on the day of first coitus compared to day after (p=.042). For later coitus, feeling in love was significantly higher compared to first coitus and higher with use of no method over condoms. About 50% (23/41) of first events and 30% (4082/14,230) of later events were condom protected (X2=13.42, df=1, p<0.001). Condom use was significantly more likely than no method at first compared to later coital events (OR: 9.69). Dual method use was reported in 5% of events with no method use more frequent (40% of first, 60% subsequent events).

Conclusions: The results indicated that sexual interest and love are independent components of coital behavior. Yet the results also suggest that young women's first coitus does not fully capture the expected significance of ‘losing one's virginity.' Thus, at first coitus women can actively engage in protective behaviors and focus on pleasure.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to: 1. Recognize behavioral and affective correlates associated with young women’s first and later coital experiences. 2. Discuss implications of the lower level of significance of first coitus on young women’s ability to engage in protective behaviors and focus on sexual interest, pleasure and love. 3. Identify ways in which health care providers and educators can encourage condom and hormonal contraceptive use for young women before and after their first coital experience.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Contraception

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a PhD in Health Behavior and have been working within the field of sexual and reproductive health for the last 9 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 5073.0: Sexual risk in adolescents