Young Girls, Older Boyfriends & Sex
Having an Older Boyfriend -- or a Serious Boyfriend at a Young Age -- May Raise a Girl's Risk of Early Sex
Early 'Serious' Relationships
And, "In seventh grade, about half of both males and females reported
never having had a serious boyfriend or girlfriend," the researchers
That means about half the students had had what they considered a serious
Most of those students reported having relationships with people their own
age. Of the boys who'd had a serious girlfriend, 47% said their girlfriend was
their age. Among girls who'd had a serious boyfriend, 31% said their boyfriend
was their age.
When there was an age difference, girls were more likely to be the younger
person. Eighteen percent of girls reported having had a boyfriend at least two
years older than they were. About 6% of the boys reported having a girlfriend
that much older than they.
Sex by 9th Grade
In the ninth-grade survey, students were asked, "Have you had sex in the
last 12 months?" defining sex as a "man's penis in woman's
Most students answered "no" to that question. But those who had had
a serious relationship by seventh grade were more likely to report having sex
in the year leading up to the survey.
"One in 10 males and females who reported no relationship in seventh
grade said that they had had sex in the 12 months before the ninth-grade
interview, compared with at least one in five who reported in seventh grade
having had a same-age or older girlfriend or boyfriend," write Marin and
The survey didn't ask students to identify their sexual partner or that
partner's age. So the researchers don't know exactly when, or with whom,
students started having sex.
Boys, Girls & Age
Among boys, those with a serious girlfriend by seventh grade were twice as
likely to have had sex in the year before the ninth-grade survey -- compared
with the girls, who were three times as likely.
And while girls with a serious older boyfriend by seventh grade were twice
as likely to have had sex as those who'd had a same-age boyfriend, no such
pattern was seen between boys and older girlfriends. However, those couples
were rare, which might make it hard to spot trends in that group.