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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    V-card study can’t dictate your future relationships, happiness

    Be it at a frat party or a house party, in a dorm room or anywhere else on campus, a lot of people out there intend to get freaky.

    But a study conducted by the University of Texas at Austin suggests people who lose their virginity later in life tend to be better off in the long run.

    The survey looked at 1,659 same-sex sibling pairs from around age 16 to around age 29, and divided the respondents into three categories based on when they lost their virginity: early (younger than 15), on time (age 15 to 19) and late (19 and up).

    People who lost their virginity later tended to have more fulfilling relationships, more education and higher earnings, according to the survey’s results. There was little difference between people who lost their virginity “early” and people who lost it “on time.”

    But for those of you who kissed your V-card bye-bye long ago, fear not, the study also showed that those who lost their virginity late were less likely to be in a relationship, perhaps because they’re likelier to be pickier in ultimately choosing romantic partners.

    Still, the study’s author, Paige Harden, acknowledged in a press release that “teenagers’ sexual experiences are complicated.”

    An earlier University of Texas at Austin study in 2011 found that teenagers in committed relationships were less likely to be delinquents than teens who had casual sex or no sex.

    It’s hard to dispute science, and you can acknowledge that it makes sense for there to be a hookup — ah, a relationship — between the age you lose your virginity and your overall well-being. But the survey fails to take a major component of individual happiness into account: Everyone is different.
    The survey’s categories present the biggest issue: How does anyone classify what is “early,” “on time” or “late” in life for people to do something like have sex for the first time?

    When I was 16 I was far more concerned with my chess team and the Red Sox than getting … well. Looking back on that, I may have been an anomaly.

    While the age ranges may have been based on the time the average American loses their virginity, a more valuable conclusion could be drawn from whether or not someone lost their virginity before they felt ready, because that could have a lot more impact on the future happiness.

    It isn’t the Middle Ages anymore. Older men are no longer sniffing around preteen girls, waiting for them to become fertile. While the age of 15 would be ancient by the standards of those times, in America it feels so, well, young.

    Perhaps you were like rap mogul T.I., who reportedly lost his virginity at age 11. But seriously think about what you were doing when you were 15. Most of us were pretty damn excited just to make out with someone.

    Maybe the majority of Americans feel ready between the ages of 15 and 19, but that’s an overgeneralization. Some people don’t feel ready until they are married. Some don’t feel ready until they have a serious partner. And some feel ready every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and occasionally Wednesday night.

    A study can’t dictate whether or not you will be happy in a future relationship.
    Whether you were ready or not that first time, let your future relationships dictate how happy you are instead.

    — Dan Desrochers is a pre-journalism sophomore. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @drdesrochers .

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