Associations between Timing of Vaginal Sex Initiation, Number of Sexual Partners, and Binge Drinking during Young Adulthood

Giuseppina Valle, University of Texas at Austin
Kathryn H. Tillman, Florida State University
Karin Brewster, Florida State University

Using the Add Health, we explore the associations between timing of vaginal sex initiation, number of vaginal sex partners, and binge drinking among individuals in young adulthood. In our combined model, we find that timing of vaginal sex initiation does not have a significant independent effect on binge drinking, but number of sexual partners does. We also find a significant interaction between timing and number of partners for men, but not women. Men who initiate sex at a late age (>18 years) and report 11 to 15 lifetime sex partners have a greater likelihood of binge drinking compared to men who initiate sex at a normative age (between 15 and 18 years) and report fewer partners. These findings suggest that a “compressed” sexual trajectory consisting of late entry into sexual activity and the frequent introduction of new partners may place individuals, particularly men, at risk for more negative health-risk behaviors.

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Presented in Session 123: Adolescent Risk Behaviors and Health