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Teen Oral Sex Found to Predict Vaginal Sex Onset

Oral sex usually occurs first; vaginal sex likely to occur within six months

FRIDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- When teens become sexually active, oral sex usually occurs first, which increases the likelihood that vaginal sex will also soon occur, according to research published online Nov. 1 in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Anna V. Song, Ph.D., of the University of California in Merced, and Bonnie L. Halpern-Felsher, Ph.D., of the University of California in San Francisco, conducted a prospective longitudinal study of 627 ninth graders (at baseline) followed up at six-month intervals between 2002 to 2005. The objective of the study was to identify the temporal order of and predictive relationship between oral and vaginal sex onset and whether the relationship between oral and vaginal sex varies across time.

The researchers found that most teens began oral sexual activity and vaginal sexual activity within the same six-month time period. Those who initiated oral sex by the end of ninth grade had a 50 percent chance of having vaginal sex before the end of the 11th grade. Those who did not begin having oral sex until the end of 11th grade had only a 16 percent chance of beginning vaginal sexual activity by that time. The authors concluded that the first two years of high school may be a critical period for vulnerability to onset of vaginal sex due to oral sex behaviors.

"Despite literature suggesting that sexual behavior varies by gender and ethnicity, the current study found that the relationship between oral and vaginal sex initiation did not differ between males and females or among Hispanic, Asian, or white adolescents," the authors write.

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