Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Young Women's Degree of Control over First Intercourse: An Exploratory Analysis

Joyce Abma, Anne Driscoll and Kristin Moore
Family Planning Perspectives
Vol. 30, No. 1 (Jan. - Feb., 1998), pp. 12-18
Published by: Guttmacher Institute
DOI: 10.2307/2991518
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2991518
Page Count: 7
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($29.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Young Women's Degree of Control over First Intercourse: An Exploratory Analysis
Preview not available

Abstract

Context: While policymakers and researchers alike often seem to believe that young women's decision to initiate sexual intercourse is conscious and free of ambiguity, the actual degree of control that such young women exert over first intercourse has rarely been explicitly examined. Methods: The 1995 National Survey of Family Growth asked all women who had experienced intercourse to rate, on a 1-10 scale, the wantedness of their first intercourse; they were then asked whether the experience was voluntary. Logistic regression analysis of data for women aged 15-24 who had experienced first premarital intercourse was performed to test the effect of background factors and wantedness scores on contraceptive use at voluntary first intercourse. Results: Twenty-four percent of women aged 13 or younger at the time of their first premarital intercourse report the experience to have been nonvoluntary, compared with 10% of those aged 19-24 at first premarital intercourse. About one-quarter of respondents who reported their first intercourse as voluntary chose a low value (1-4) on the wantedness scale. Women whose first partner was seven or more years older than themselves were more than twice as likely as those whose first partner was the same age or younger to choose a low value (36% vs. 17%). Women whose partner had been seven or more years older were also less likely than other women to have used contraceptives at first intercourse. After the introduction of controls for demographic and background factors, partner age discrepancy and relationship status, wantedness of voluntary first intercourse was not independently related to the odds of contraceptive use at that intercourse. Conclusion: Characterizing women's first intercourse as simply voluntary or nonvoluntary is inadequate. Measures that take into account degrees of wantedness may help elucidate relationships between sexual initiation, contraceptive use and teenage pregnancy. The fact that substantial numbers of young women voluntarily participated in a first sexual experience about which they felt ambivalent or negative deserves the attention of program planners and service providers.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
12
    12
  • Thumbnail: Page 
13
    13
  • Thumbnail: Page 
14
    14
  • Thumbnail: Page 
15
    15
  • Thumbnail: Page 
16
    16
  • Thumbnail: Page 
17
    17
  • Thumbnail: Page 
18
    18