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Early patterns of sexual activity: Age cohort differences in Australia

Boyle, Frances M. , Dunne, Michael P., Purdie, David M. , Najman, Jackob M. , & Cook, Michelle D. (2003) Early patterns of sexual activity: Age cohort differences in Australia. International Journal of STD & AIDS, 14(11), pp. 745-752.

Abstract

Summary: Patterns of first sexual activity among Australians born between the 1940s and 1980s were analysed using data from a national telephone survey of 1784 adults (876 males; 908 females). Sixty-one percent of those randomly selected from the Australian electoral roll and contactable by telephone responded. Many trends, including earlier first intercourse - from 20 to 18 years (females) and 18.8 to 17.8 years (males) - were established with the 40-49 year cohort, whose sexual debut was in the late 1960s-70s. Significant age-cohort effects saw women in the contemporary (18-29 year) cohort draw level with males for age at first intercourse and first sex before age 16 and before leaving school. First intercourse contraceptive use climbed from 30% to 80%. Condom use quadrupled to 70%. Australian age-cohort effects are remarkably consistent with those in similar western cultures: gender convergence in sexual experience and increasing avoidance of sexually transmitted disease and pregnancy. If such trends continue, positive long-term outcomes for health and social wellbeing should result.

Impact and interest:

12 citations in Scopus
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10 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 10050
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
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Keywords: sex behaviour, safe sex, contraceptive behaviour, surveys, Australia
ISSN: 0956-4624
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES (070000) > VETERINARY SCIENCES (070700) > Veterinary Epidemiology (070704)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 Royal Society of Medicine Services
Deposited On: 11 Oct 2007
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 22:58

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