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Study Shows That Early Teen Sex Could Be Influenced by Genetics

Genetics Could Trump Daddy Issues in Sexually Active Teens

The age at which you lost your virginity could be programmed in your genes. Though researchers have often suspected that having an absent father, a single mom, or sexually active single parents could lead teens to have sex earlier, genetics seem to play a larger role than previously thought.

According a new study published in Child Development, the average age at which teens with absent fathers lost their virginity was 15.28, compared to age 16.11 for kids whose fathers were always around. Children whose fathers were sometimes absent lost their virginity at an average age of 15.36.

The findings are based on a study of 1,000 cousins at the University of Oregon, and the familial relations of the subjects led to some other interesting conclusions. Namely:

The more genes the children shared, the more similar their ages of first intercourse, regardless of whether or not the children had an absent father.

This doesn't mean there is an "absent father gene," says University of Oregon's Jane Mendle. But the researchers did observe parental traits — such as impulsiveness, addiction, and "sensation seeking" — that led to earlier sexual activity in teens.

At what age did you lose it? And do you think your early sexual urges were genetically predetermined?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
runspin runspin 7 years
I'm 19 and still a virgin, so is my 20 yr old boyfriend of 2 years. We decided we will wait until marriage and that will probably at least 2 more years from now.
LadyGoddess LadyGoddess 7 years
I'm 24 and a virgin still. I know that I have some issues because of the violence I grew up with, but I believe that at this stage, I'm more concerned with wanting to meet someone special.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 7 years
I was 15 and I thought I was ready. Maybe I was seeking love since my father had issues with being a good one. But, who knows, really? I should've waited a few years later. But, there's no real regrets.
iheartkerning iheartkerning 7 years
I first had sex at age 18, with a friend (not a boyfriend). I refuse to say I lost my virginity then, because I didn't...I didn't lose anything, it didn't magically change me, I just had sex for the first time. If anything I gained a lot of knowledge about myself, but I certainly didn't lose anything.
dani17731 dani17731 7 years
I guess I beat the odds then. I'm 23 and still a virgin. I know that for some people "daddy issues" are really hard, but I don't really have any. My parents split up when I was 4 and even though I saw him sometimes, and still do, we're not super close. We get along though, and I don't think it's affected me at all. And btw, it pisses me off when people say, "Oh here's a poor, Black single mother. Her kid will be pregnant at 16 and addicted to crack." (An exaggeration but you get the idea.) I don't have any kids, never even tried weed, drinks rarely, employed since age 14 and about to graduate college. Stick that in your judgmental pipe and smoke it. But I digress. I have one cousin who was 14 and one who was 22. I don't really believe genetics play a role, more so the daddy issues, if I had to choose.
gigilgirl gigilgirl 7 years
kudos to suziryder for being the oldest in the group! im 19 and still a virgin. i'm proud of it though. i do believe the study but i also have my own beliefs on sex before marriage. my theo prod said that there must be an amount of sex before marriage because two people who love each other must share both body and spirit completely! :D [alright, geek mode] but i agree with it. :D it's always better to give it away to someone you really, really love.
oohsexypenguin oohsexypenguin 7 years
I lost it when I was 19 to my first boyfriend. I was more like "I just want to get it over with," though I waited until I was in a committed relationship first. My dad was always around, but in my household sex was only ever talked about in that it should be saved for marriage. Naturally that only served to make both my sister (she lost hers much earlier than I did) and me curious. I think the urge to lose one's virginity is definitely a combination of nature and nurture.
suziryder suziryder 7 years
I was 25. I was just waiting for the right guy. I'd grown up thinking I'd wait til marriage, but sometime in college or graduate school I realized that I didn't believe in the religion behind the "wait til marriage" rule, so why follow it? I thought about sleeping with someone just to get rid of it, because I thought I was a freak to be a virgin in my 20s, but I couldn't do it that way. I decided I only wanted to have sex with someone I cared for, so I waited. And it turns out, I lost my virginity to another virgin, so we have a really special connection that way. That was about two years ago, and we got married this summer. ps I'm glad I waited. :)
Pistil Pistil 7 years
I was 19. I don't feel like I did it/didn't do it because my parents told me to/not to. I had my own ideas about sex and thought I would wait until marriage. My dad was the one who suggested birth control when I started college.
le-romantique le-romantique 7 years
My dad was always around and I'm 21 and still a virgin. My sister lost hers when she was like 15 though... I really think parenting has nothing to do with how kids are, my sister and I are polar opposites with our teen lives...
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
I was 16. I don't think it was based on genetics. My sexual urges didn't just "turn on." I didn't "become active." Everybody has sex sometime after they hit puberty, I think it's their choice when and who they do it with.
staple-salad staple-salad 7 years
I think my boyfriend is a huge case against the "daddy issues" idea. According to the things listed in this article, he must have been supposed to lose his virginity at 12 or 13 or something, and we lost ours together at 19. Though, haha, I go to UO. UO students generally lose their virginity at 16 (or at least, UO students who take the "Philosophy of Love and Sex" course during spring term).
biarose biarose 7 years
I was 15. Now I feel like that is crazy young, but at the time I felt so old! I didn't have a stable father figure. I just really went through a rebellious phase! I know my mum got pregnant at 16, so obviously she lost it young and I certainly have inherited some sort of addictive personality from my father.
mix-tape mix-tape 7 years
It is a matter of basic psychology: nature vs. nurture. Yes genetics play a part in your sexual chemistry, but your environment makes a large impact as well. If you grow up in a household that doesn't treat sex as something sacred you will be more likely to have sex at an early age. But the opposite can also be true, strict households can make kids want to rebel and have sex early too. Either way there are just so many factors that contribute to teenage sex that I don't think it's even worth continuing to study. Yes we know it's best to have both parents around, but these are circumstances that will continue to persist even if science proves children with fathers in their lives end up better off. And to answer the question I lost my virginity when I was 18, we dated for 4 years and I will never regret losing it to him even if we no longer are together. It's a matter of loving a person and having respect for them. I am blessed to have that experience.
notinthemood notinthemood 7 years
Daddy issues are totally real! I've had plenty to work through and I put on my game face for YEARS before finally admitting to myself that my assh*le father was causing me so much grief. But back to the issue at hand, I gave mine away at 20, to someone I absolutely respect, love and adore. Still do.
gigly_grl gigly_grl 7 years
21, but it wasn't about age for me. It was about finding someone that I wanted so badly it wasn't even a question, it just happened. Just a note, this study seems full of crap to me... there are just too many variables to consider and they only studied a small group.
heartcandy heartcandy 7 years
imLissy you crack me up. I lost mine when i was 17yrs old and i think it had alot to do with my father issues. I was very needy and seeking affection.
imLissy imLissy 7 years
20. I was fat in HS. Though I used to say I would wait until I was married. Eh, well, we're getting married in January. Close enough.
Muirnea Muirnea 7 years
P.S. I've never thought "daddy issues" were real. I'm sure it does cause a different dynamic for a kid to grow up in...but I don't think it seriously affects the kid, like messing up their life and their ability to make choices like the rest of us.
Muirnea Muirnea 7 years
"At what age did you lose it? And do you think your early sexual urges were genetically predetermined?" 18. And yes, I think early sexual urges are genetically predetermined of course. What else would they be determined by? O.o Just people's thoughts? Well, if those same people didn't have genetically predetermined sexual urges in the first place they wouldn't be having thoughts about sex at all and therefore wouldn't do it. Seriously..what else is there that would cause that???
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I was 13. My mom went on and on and on about how it was sacred, etc., so I made sure to get rid of it as soon as possible. I mean, sacred sex is a lot of pressure. I've never regretted it either, although the guy did leave a bit to be desired. I don't see the big deal with holding on to it, never have. As long as you're smart about condoms and the like, that is.
Gdeeaz Gdeeaz 7 years
I am 19 and still a virgin. the reason i am still a virgin is because while I am ready to have sex I am not ready to have a kid. My mom was a teenage mom and I know it was very hard for her, I learned from her mistakes.
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