According to a recent study published in Psychological Science,1 teenagers who wait longer to have sex experience different kinds of romantic relationships later in life compared to teens that start having sex earlier. This 15-year longitudinal study (beginning in 1994 and concluding in 2009) tracked teenagers’ sexual activity and long-term relationships into their late 20s/early 30s. Those teens that had sex before age 15 (23%) were considered “early” sexual bloomers. Most teens (60%) had sex for the first time between the ages of 15 and 19, which scientists consider normal for American teenagers (thus, “on time”), and 16% of teens reported having sex for the first time after age 19, and were labeled “late” sexual bloomers (8% of the sample did not report having sex at all in their lives).
Entries in age (8)
When to get married is one of the most debated topics among my group of friends. It is becoming more apparent that most do not intend to tie the knot until they are in their late twenties or thirties, if at all. Indeed, the desire to postpone marriage is on par with the rising trend in the age of first marriage in the United States. In 2011, the average age of marriage for men and women is 28.7 and 26.5 respectively compared to 24.7 (men) and 22 (women) in 1980 (read more about age differences here). However, regardless of the reasons behind the delay in marriage, research suggests this may not be a wise move.
After getting engaged, there are practically a million decisions for brides-to-be to make. You need to pick a dress, a wedding singer, and decide on a honeymoon destination. Amidst all of these decisions, you also have to make what may be the most important decision of all (next to saying ‘yes’, of course): whether you will take your husband’s last name in place of your own. The decision is not trivial. Sure, a change in name necessitates a change in driver’s license, credit cards, passport, and even your signature, but it may also influence your self-concept (you know, that part of yourself that tells you who you are).
Online dating has become incredibly common since the mid-1990s. For example, a recent nationally representative survey conducted in the United States revealed that 17% of heterosexual couples and 41% of same-sex couples met over the internet. However, as anyone who has ever dated online can tell you, internet dating is a tricky business. People have a tendency to lie and misrepresent themselves in an attempt to maximize their appeal to potential partners. But just how common and serious are these lies, and what effect do they have on someone’s likelihood of getting a date?
A common rule of thumb, at least on the internet, is that it’s okay to be interested in someone “half your age plus seven” years. According to this rule, it would not be creepy for a 30 year old to date a 22 year-old, but an 18 year-old would be off-limits. Although this is a fun rule of thumb, what does research say about age preferences for potential mates?
Will sculpting your body to perfection help you to find a romantic partner? Perhaps, but it may not be as important as another part of your anatomy (no, not that part; get your mind out of the gutter!). A recent study suggests that both men and women actually pay more attention to faces than they do to bodies when looking for a long-term lover. When it comes to one-night stands, however, women still focus on the face, whereas men shift their priority to the body.
There was big news last week when 51-year-old actor Doug Hutchison, a former star of television’s Lost, married 16-year-old Courtney Alexis Stodden, an aspiring country music artist. In case math isn’t your strong suit, that’s a 35 year age difference. And yes, you did read that correctly: she’s only 16.
I will be celebrating my 30th birthday this year, and to put a positive spin on a milestone that can be met with some angst, my friend and fellow sex researcher recently began promoting 30 as the "XXX" birthday (30 in Roman numerals, a.k.a., "triple-X"). Although this was meant to simply put a fun spin on a sometimes-dreaded event, research suggests that 30 might really be a woman’s XXX birthday.