Let’s Take it Nice and Slow: Predictors of Delayed Sexual Onset among Dutch Adolescents between 2009 and 2017. A Time-Sequential Study.
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The age at which Dutch adolescents had their first sexual intercourse significantly increased since 2012. To explain this potential broad-based delay, this study sought to examine (differences in) the predictors of sexual onset over time. The data used for analyses were from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study. The total sample consisted of 1,502 11-20 years old sexually experienced Dutch high-school students (713 participants from 2009 and 789 participants from 2017). Trends in the predictors of sexual onset were evaluated using hierarchical multiple regression analyses. It was found that lower education, a non-Western migration status, and early puberty were associated with an early sexual onset. Unexpectedly, gender (boys) was associated with an early age of onset, and higher levels of alcohol use were associated with a later age of onset. Furthermore, increasing levels of education, along with an altered structure of educational level in relation to sexual onset, may have (marginally) contributed to the delay in sexual onset. Concerning the growing educational inequalities in sexual onset, the results of this study could be of importance for policy and intervention purposes.