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Indicators of Early Sexual Behaviors in Girls

In the study below about predictors of sexual behaviors in young girls, the authors were trying to find out if there were correlations between several different factors and girls engaging in sexual behavior at a young age. The article starts off by describing how there have not been many studies to demonstrate the effect of ethnicity on girls partaking in coital behavior. In addition to ethnicity, the authors are also interested in measuring the effects of parent-child relationships, and factors such as the child’s general behavior. The goals of the study were to find out some of the “predictors of sexually intimate, noncoital behavior among young female adolescents,” as well as determining how ethnicity affects this.

The authors did an analysis of a sample of 1,116 girls at ages 11 and then 12. Face-to-face interviews were done with the girls and their parents, asking about their sexually intimate behaviors within the past year and their disorderly behavior. Several questions were asked such as how close the parent felt to their child or how often they felt they need a vacation from their daughters. Alcohol use, the age they had their first period, and deviant peer behavior were all types of questions that were asked in the study.

It was found that at age 11, ethnicity did not have any effect on sexually intimate behaviors. Factors such as household poverty and single parent households had no effect on the girls’ sexual behavior. On the other hand, it was found that the use of alcohol, deviant behavior, and low levels of social self-worth all increased the likelihood of a girl engaging in sexual behavior.

I think this study is just one indication of how the relationships we have with our daughters can impact their future sexual behaviors. It’s so important to have an open and honest relationship with them, in order to help lead them onto the right path. The less deviant their behavior, higher levels of social self-worth, and less time mothers thought they needed away from their daughters are clear predictors of less early intimate behavior in girls. It’s obviously challenging, but maybe if more mothers concentrated on these issues there would be less teen pregnancies or abortions.



  1. shaniperk says:

    I think that all the factors listed are significant, but once again society and studies fail to realize that FATHERS play a HUGE part in the lives of our daughters. A dad is the 1st male influence that a girl has and if he’s absent thats is years and years of guidance that is lost.

  2. mpietila says:

    I wonder if the girls were completely honest with their answers. If their parents were sitting in the room while they were asking questions, their answers may have been altered to make them seem more innocent. That may not be the case for all, but I would imagine if a child had a bad relationship with a parent, they wouldn’t be as open to reveal their sexual behavior.

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