Early sexual experiences of teenage heterosexual males in Australia: a cross-sectional survey

Chow, Eric P.F., Wigan, Rebecca, McNulty, Anna, Bell, Charlotte, Johnson, Mandy, Marshall, Lewis, Regan, David G., Owen, Louise, Brotherton, Julia M.L., Bradshaw, Catriona S., Fairley, Christopher K., Russell, Darren, and Chen, Marcus (2017) Early sexual experiences of teenage heterosexual males in Australia: a cross-sectional survey. BMJ Open, 7 (10). e016779.

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Objective: There are limited data on the patterns of early sexual behaviours among Australian teenage heterosexual boys. This study describes the nature and onset of early sexual experiences in this population through a cross-sectional survey.

Design: A cross-sectional survey between 2014 and 2015

Setting: Major sexual health clinics and community sources across Australia

Participants: Heterosexual men aged 17-19 years

Results: There were 191 men in the study with a median age of 19.1 years. Median age at first oral sex was 16.4 years (IQR: 15.5-17.7) and 16.9 years (IQR: 16.0-18.0) for first vaginal sex. Most men had engaged in oral sex (89.5%) and vaginal sex (91.6%) in the previous 12 months with 32.6% reporting condom use at last vaginal sex. Of the total lifetime female partners for vaginal sex reported by men as a group (n=1187): 54.3% (n=645) were the same age as the man, 28.3% (n=336) were a year or more younger and 17.4% (n=206) were a year or more older. Prior anal sex with females was reported by 22% with 47% reporting condom use at last anal sex. Median age at first anal sex was 18.2 years (IQR: 17.3-18.8). Anal sex with a female was associated with having five or more lifetime female sexual partners for oral and vaginal sex.

Conclusions: These data provide insights into the trajectory of sexual behaviours experienced by teenage heterosexual boys following sexual debut, findings which can inform programme promoting sexual health among teenage boys.

Item ID: 53938
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2044-6055
Keywords: adolescent; first sex; heterosexual; sexual behaviours; sexual trajectory; teenage
Additional Information:

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Funders: Merck Investigator Initiated Studies Program (MI), National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: MI Protocol 50939, NHMRC early career fellowship no. 1091226
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2018 01:22
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4405 Gender studies > 440507 Studies of men and masculinities @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4204 Midwifery > 420402 Models of care and place of birth @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920205 Health Education and Promotion @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920505 Mens Health @ 50%
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