CitationGoldberg, Shoshana K.; Haydon, Abigail; Herring, Amy H.; & Halpern, Carolyn Tucker (2012). Longitudinal consistency in self-reported age of sexual debut among young adults. 2012 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Population Center.
AbstractIn the present study we examined consistency in self-reports of age at first vaginal sex among 9,399 male and female respondents who participated in Waves III and IV (separated by approximately 7 years) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Respondents were coded as consistent if they reported an age at first vaginal intercourse at Wave IV that was within 1 year of the age they reported at Wave III. Sociodemographic, behavioral, and cognitive predictors of consistency were examined using bivariate and multivariate logistic regression, with separate models fit for males and females. Overall, 85.43% of respondents (88.8% of females, 81.7% of males) were able to provide consistent reports. Among both males and females, consistency was associated with age, years since first vaginal intercourse, race/ethnicity, and lifetime number of opposite-sex partners in final multivariate models. Respondents who were older and had more recently had their first sexual experience were more likely to be consistent. For females only, those who reported a history of non-parental, physically forced sex were less likely to be consistent. Our findings indicate that most young adults consistently report age at first vaginal intercourse, supporting the credibility of retrospective self-reports about salient sexual events such as timing of first vaginal intercourse.
Reference TypeConference proceeding
Book Title2012 Add Health Users Conference
Author(s)Goldberg, Shoshana K.
Herring, Amy H.
Halpern, Carolyn Tucker