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Age at First Sexual Intercourse and the Timing of Marriage and Childbirth
Brent C. Miller and Tim B. Heaton
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 53, No. 3 (Aug., 1991), pp. 719-732
Published by: National Council on Family Relations
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/352746
Page Count: 14
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Although many studies have examined determinants of age at first sexual intercourse, less attention has been given to its consequences. In this analysis, age at first intercourse is viewed as a life course transition that can influence marriage and childbearing. Analysis is based on the National Survey of Family Growth, Cycle III. Early initiation of sexual activity is associated with a relatively slow pace of family formation, but early initiators do catch up with late initiators. Teenagers who begin sexual activity early are more likely to form a family through giving birth than through marriage. These patterns are not greatly altered by the introduction of several control variables. Finally, blacks and non-Hispanic whites have quite different trajectories of marriage and childbirth following first intercourse.
Journal of Marriage and Family © 1991 National Council on Family Relations