Many teenagers have gotten the messages about condom use, but they do not realize that hooking up with someone who is significantly older, not well known, or having sex with several different partners over time, increases their chances of encountering an aggressive or infected partner. Sexual assault counseling primer In addition to the physical risks, alcohol use during early sexual encounters can also have lasting psychosocial effects. About half of all teenagers initiate intercourse before the end of high school.
While researchers say that this behavior is both normal and a part of healthy development, adolescents are also at risk of many significant health issues as a result, ranging from unintended pregnancy to sexually transmitted diseases STDs. Identifying the conditions that transform normal and healthy sexual behavior to risky behavior may help lead to the development of better policies and practices to prevent negative outcomes and promote improved sexual well-being, according to the report.
The study examined nearly young adults aged 18 to 20 years in New York via written surveys and personal interviews. Within that cohort, the median age at which alcohol was first consumed was One quarter of those surveyed say alcohol was involved the first time they had sexual intercourse, with an average of 5 drinks consumed prior to having sex, according to the report. Overall, the study found that the use of alcohol at first coitus was positively associated with age at first coitus, partner age, pressure to participate in sexual intercourse, and future risky sexual behaviors.
In terms of the effect of alcohol on the first experience with intercourse alone, researchers found that alcohol negatively impacted the length of time a woman knew her sexual partner before engaging in coitus, and the extent to which the encounter was planned and desired. The risks associated with alcohol use related to sexual encounters are no secret—particularly sexual risks for women, increased risk of sexual assault, and STDs.
Like adults, adolescents who use alcohol are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors, especially teenaged girls who are more likely to be indiscriminant in their choice of partners when alcohol is involved, the study notes. The study reveals that adolescent girls who engage in intercourse with a partner at least 2 years older than themselves are less likely to discuss birth control options; are more likely to contract a sexually transmitted infections; and have a higher incidence of sexual assault and unintended pregnancy.
Impact of location on risky behavior Cognitive and behavioral disinhibition brought on by alcohol can also increase risks, particularly for adolescents who drink in social settings and are susceptible to the influence of their peers.
The report also cites numerous research studies supporting the common perception that alcohol consumption leads to a loss of sexual inhibition and promiscuity.
Many of these encounters occur in social settings, as well, which may also cause young women to feel additional pressure to engage in sexual activity—beyond the effects of the alcohol—whether they are prepared to do so or not, the study authors note. In studies about sexual initiation, most of the research has been based on age at the time of first intercourse. However, age related to peers at first coitus may have more impact that age alone. This is likely to occur when early maturing girls affiliate with older adolescents, exposing them to developmentally advanced behaviors.
Having such an experience at a developmentally critical time point may result in the formation of maladaptive sexual scripts through mechanisms such as traumatic sexualization, perceived powerlessness, and depressed sexual assertiveness and self-efficacy.
When to start discussing alcohol with kids Study participants that used alcohol before their first coital experience also were less likely to know their partner, and were more likely to be pressured to participate in sex and later regret it. The study also found that participants that used alcohol during their first sexual experience were also more likely to continue to engage in risky sexual behavior going forward. They were more likely than their peers who did not drink at the time of first coitus to regularly drink to the point of intoxication, and continued to practice risky sexual behaviors such as having sex with someone they had just met that day, and having sex after passing out from drinking.
Interventions aimed at delaying alcohol consumption are beneficial, and Livingston further suggests combining substance abuse and sexual behavior education efforts in middle school and high school students.
In counseling patients, however, Livingston says abstinence-only is not a realistic approach. The Life Skills training approach , which empowers adolescent females to take charge of their sexual decisions, have been promising in previous studies, Livingston notes.