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March 1991

Current Trends in Premarital Sexual Experience Among Adolescent Women—United States, 1970-1988

Arch Dermatol. 1991;127(3):311-312. doi:10.1001/archderm.1991.01680030023003

The initiation of sexual intercourse early in life is associated with an increased number of sex partners and a greater risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). This report describes trends in age at first premarital sexual intercourse for adolescent women (15-19 years of age) in the United States during 1970-1988 and indicates an accelerated increase in the proportion having had premarital sex from 1986 to 1988.

Data for this analysis were obtained from interviews with 8450 women* 15-44 years of age who participated in the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) conducted by CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) in 1988. The women were part of a subsample from a nationally representative sample of households interviewed in the National Health Interview Survey of 1986 (NCHS, unpublished data). The NSFG provided specific information on age and marital status of participants at first sexual intercourse, as well as detailed information on

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