PSYC103.23084.EDTR103.23083.201221: PSYC103:WC3-May 16, 2012 EDTR103:WC3 Spring 2012Psychology 103Girls experiencing sexual intercourse early: Could it play a part in reproductive health in middle adulthood? Article summary Joan AnasthasiaOlympio Community College of Baltimore County Instructor: AzarEtesamypour-King
PSYC103.23084.EDTR103.23083.201221: PSYC103:WC3- May 16, 2012 EDTR103:WC3 Spring 2012Introduction: The article, “Girls experiencing sexual intercourse early: Could it play a part inreproductive health in middle adulthood?” is a study that explore a potential relationship betweenexperiencing early intercourse and reproductive health characteristics in middle adulthood forwomen. The study was composed of 522 females up to the age of 14 who were interviewed inregard of the rectification of their first sexual intercourse experience. 522 women intervieweesonly 369 were interviewed again 29 years later at the age of 43. Series of psychological andmedical questions were the focused subject. The attempt of the study was to examine if havingan earlysex life could have consecutive complications for women reproductive healthcharacteristics. The article discussed different factors, including demographic backgrounds,socioeconomic status, education levels of the female and her parents, household income, , andany correlations with problematic behavioral problems. The article also indulges methodology,data and results, a discussion section, and future outlook on the topic. At the time of the article’s publication in December, 2006, theresearch was vagueon thesubject. But after the publication of the study a few additional studies and research have beenpublished. Based on the findings presented in the combined research, I support the conventionalcomprehensivepoint of view that there is a relation between girls who experience sexualintercourse early and their reproductive health in middle adulthood.
PSYC103.23084.EDTR103.23083.201221: PSYC103:WC3- May 16, 2012 EDTR103:WC3 Spring 2012Rationale: Early sexual activities have been studied in young adults, but no attempts to associate toreproductive health in middle adulthood have been made. Instead, prior research focused onvarious problem behaviors such as delinquency, violation, alcohol and drug use. Only one studyfocused on the consequences of the co-occurrence and separateness of early sexual intercourseand problem behaviors over time. The result showed that female who had earlysexualintercourse and problem behavior in adolescence, produced prolonged consequences related toalcohol use and criminal activity in young adulthood. The majority of prior research on long-term consequences of early intercourse focused on early pregnancy. And while numerousstudies have focused on the link between early pregnancy and early sexual activity, less is knownabout the link between early sexual activity and long-term reproductive health issues. There are,meanwhile, some studies that indicate that female engaged in early intercourse could be a riskfactor for poor reproductive health in adolescence. Studies have shown that girls with earlysexual intercourse experience are more exposed to sex-related reproductive ill-health, unwantedpregnancies, STDs, and cervical atypias than girls with later onset . While these are attemptsat trying to understand physical and psychological well-being during adolescence, there was littleempirical and theoretical research done on the long-term consequences of being an early sexualactive female.Method: The participants in the study were part of an Individual Development and Adaption (IDA)project. IDA is a longitudinal program for three complete school-grade Swedish children aged10, 13, and 15 from a population of 100,000. The 10 year old Girl age, have been pursued into
PSYC103.23084.EDTR103.23083.201221: PSYC103:WC3- May 16, 2012 EDTR103:WC3 Spring 2012adulthood and by the age of 14, 522 of them were studied. At the age of 43, 379 womenparticipated in an intensive psychological-medical investigation. More testing including“Adjustment Screening Test,” gaining demographic variables, and gathering information weredone by asking them the question, “Have you ever been pregnant?” The “AdjustmentScreening Test” was used to identify conduct for an early sexual beginner and any issuebehavior. Personal interviews to collectbackground information and data were obtainedregarding socioeconomic status based on household income and education information based on13 years old girls. Further materialsreceived included their parents’ education, age of leavinghome, number of children, education, family income, and individual income. Asking thequestion, “Have you ever been pregnant?” was instrumental in gathering additional reproductivehealth characteristics data. Questions regarding fertility, menstrual symptoms, contraception,and health check-ups were also asked to try finding a relation.Results:The first component of the study explored if there were any importance differentiation betweenearly and late activeimplied on various demographic characteristics including reproductive healthand health related demeanor. Research showed that normally early starters left home earlier thanlate starters. Early Sexual actives leave home approximately one year earlier compare to latestarters and had a shallow level of education. Additionally, early starters’ parents also had alower education level in comparison with parents of later starters. There was no difference inhousehold income. Nearly every woman by the age of 43 had been pregnant at some time andapproximately all were married or leaving with a partner. However, there were severaldifferences between the two groups of girls based on reproductive health markers. Fifty-one
PSYC103.23084.EDTR103.23083.201221: PSYC103:WC3- May 16, 2012 EDTR103:WC3 Spring 2012(73.9%) early starters terminated their pregnancies by a miscarriage or abortion, in comparisonwith 104 (47.7%) later starters. Regarding fertility, 24 (32%) of the early starters had tried to getpregnant for more than a year in comparison with 51 (21%) of later starters. Early startersconsistently reported more menstrual symptoms than later starters and fewer had usedcontraception than later starters. No differences were found in require health check-ups. Since household income during childhood did not differ between the groups, no furtherstudies were done. However, parent’s education at age 13 did differ and was examined further asan early predictor to sexual intercourse. Girls who have a parent with a lower education wererepresented more frequently than those who have a higher educated parent. It was also foundthat being an early intercourse starter was a strong prognosticative of having menstrualsymptoms at age 43. Being an early starter, independent of problem behaviors, did have apredictive association with being a teenage mother, pregnancies less than six months, abortion asa teenager, and no use of contraception. It was however, not associated with medical fertilitytreatment. Behavioral issues and early intercourse, together, was not associated to somereproductive health characteristics. It was also conclude that low parental education consistentlydid not predict reproductive health. Early intercourse, however, was a strong predictor of earlyaged abortions than any of the other predictors.Discussion:Knowing that there was not enough research done on this topic during the time, enoughexperimental evidence was added to the existing facts. The results strongly advised that thosewho experienced early intercourse early are likely different than their counterparts on variouscharacteristics. Early sexual predators and their parents tend to be less intellectually educated and
PSYC103.23084.EDTR103.23083.201221: PSYC103:WC3- May 16, 2012 EDTR103:WC3 Spring 2012leave home earlier than earlier counterpart who experience sexual intercourse later. The resultsalso show that early intercourse plays a role in later reproductive health for women. Womenwith a history of early sexual intercourse reported less contraception use as well as moremenstrual symptoms at age 43 than their counterparts without such a history. Strong correlationswere also found for early intercourse being a strong predictor of reproductive health markers,both as a teenager and as an adult.The authors reasonably inspected their work in different ways including offering explanationsand citing related research in an effort to suggest possibilities and likelihoods. For example, noexplanations are made for why early starters use less contraception in midlife. The authors thensite another source explaining how perhaps fertility management requires a certain amount ofability to act rationally and plan for the future, as well a certain level of cognitive and emotionalmaturity. The authors also approached some methodological limitations including using avaried group sizes in the final analysis and also how studying linear relations between variableswill deny them gaining knowledge on possible interactions and patterns of reproductive health.Critical Thinking: The data of the study accustomed in many ways with what I have learned in HumanGrowth and Development class, particularly in the early adolescence stage. This is the age whenyoung females begin puberty and develop sex characteristics. When it was time for the arrival ofpuberty, hormonal changes will contributed to an increased sex drive. This is when libido levelsare increased and that 75% of females are sexually active prior to the age of 16 (in the U.S.) andthat 50% of abortions occur in females under the age of 18. As implied in the study, I alsolearned in class that a substantial percentage of young females under the age of 18 are sexually
PSYC103.23084.EDTR103.23083.201221: PSYC103:WC3- May 16, 2012 EDTR103:WC3 Spring 2012active quite early, by the age of 15. Taking the Human Growth and Development class alsoidentified how characteristics of sexually active adolescents are similar to what the studyproposed. For example, learning that early and frequent teenage sexual activity is linked topersonal, family, peer, and educational characteristics was very intriguing and interesting toknow. These include early pubertal timing, parental divorce, single-parent and stepfamilyhomes, large family size, little or no religious involvement, weak parental monitoring, disruptedparent-child communication, sexually active friends and older siblings, poor school performance,lower educational aspirations, and tendency to engage in norm-violating acts, including alcoholand drug use and delinquency (3). As the study continued, we also learned how there isaequivalence between early pregnancy and negative effects on educational achievement, martialpatterns, and economic circumstances. This proof could clash with individual living positively if there were more education andavoidance strategies in place. Sex education courses and counseling sessions are sometimesintroduced late in the adolescent life. Once sexual activity has begun they are teens are limited intime and generally stick just to the basic facts, such as reproduction and anatomy because theydid not have any knowledge prior to the act. While sex education does not encourage sex, it doesimprove awareness. Introducing cues sex education classes at an early life stage, it probablywould prevent the negative impacts of early starters. Nevertheless, given the life stage of thesubjects, it may be problematic and demanding to get them interested as do not analyzethemselves to be at risk. To have an impact, the sex education and counseling sessions must berelevant and related to their lifestyles to gain their interest so they can understand the impact itmay have on their long-term reproductive health. The study’s data could easily be supplement toany contraceptive and birth control education.
PSYC103.23084.EDTR103.23083.201221: PSYC103:WC3- May 16, 2012 EDTR103:WC3 Spring 2012 This study focused on 14 year old Swedish females and while the Sweden populationtakes a more liberal approach toward adolescent sexuality and associated behaviors (as long as itis monogamous), exposure to sex, education about it, and effort to limit the sexual curiosity ofchildren and adolescents vary widely around the world. The study did not evaluate factors suchas religion or race. However, previous research has validated that the earlier female raceintroduced to sexual activity are among African American compared with European Americangirls (2). Based on the evidence presented in this study, and other supporting research on sexualactivity, I support that there is a clear correlation between girls who experience sexualintercourse early and their reproductive health in middle adulthood.References
PSYC103.23084.EDTR103.23083.201221: PSYC103:WC3- May 16, 2012 EDTR103:WC3 Spring 2012 1. Magnusson, C., Trost, K. (2006). Girls experiencing sexual intercourse early: Could it playa part in reproductive health in middle adulthood? Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics andGynecology.Vol. 27, Iss.4, p. 237-44 (8pp.)2. Schofield, Hannah-Lise T. (2008). Predicting early sexual activity with behavior problemsexhibited at school entry and in early adolescence. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.New York: Nov 2008. Vol. 36, Iss. 8, p. 1175-88 (14 pp.) 3. Ethnic Differences in Delays to Treatment for Substance Use Disorders: African Americans,Black Caribbeans and Non-Hispanic Whites. Perron, Alexander-Eitzman, Watkins, Taylor,Baser, Neighbors, & Jackson. (2009). Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Volume 41 Issue 4, pp.369-77.