Sincere sexual relationships should involve both physical and emotional intimacy. “Physical” here primarily refers to sexual activity between the partners. The right age to have sex is a topic that has been discussed time and again. In recent times, this has gained more importance as there are more and more teenagers getting involved in such relationships at a very young age (before 16). Rather than just the physical aspects of premature sexual relationships, the emotional part also needs to be considered as it takes a toll on the teenager’s mind. The brain and an individual’s maturity don’t develop as fast as their genitals do. This is why emotional intimacy isn’t easy for youngsters to handle.
Surveys and research news are some of the best sources to learn more about how the first sexual encounter and corresponding relationship have an effect on the teen’s development into an adult. A national survey was conducted in Britain with around 12,000 men and women aged between 14 and 44. Almost half of the women agreed that they should’ve waited a little more before having their first sex. The survey found that the median age of the first sexual encounter was 17 for men and 16 for women. A considerable number of them also agreed that they were less willing than their partner and they did it only because they were curious, drunk, or because everyone else was doing it.
These surveys and their numbers do imply a lot of things and are certainly not without meaning. The national survey showed that cognitive immaturity during early intimate relationships make you enjoy it less and also increases the risk of sexually transmitted diseases. The risk of unplanned pregnancy is also something to take into account. Most teens cannot handle it. It puts them under immense pressure as many societies take a harsh stance on such things, and emotional maturity to deal with the situation simply isn’t there yet.
The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health also revealed several demonstrative things. The study was conducted primarily with adolescent males from poor sections of the African-American community. Participants in the survey were categorized into three groups: early (had sex before turning 15), on time (15-19), and late (older than 19). The study showed that the age was a predictor of how the males would respond and handle romantic and intimate relationships in the future.
Despite a lot of surveys, the evidence is not conclusive. The fact that remains is that it’s imperative for parents to talk to their children about relationships and sex and keep them informed so that they are at a lesser risk of taking bad decisions.