When was your first time?
An online survey revealed the average age gay men lose their virginity. The study – which included 500 respondents from the US and 500 from Europe – found that the average age a gay man has sex for the first time is 17.9 years old. In comparison, the average age a straight person loses their virginity came in slightly younger at 17.6 years old.
Curiously, despite having sex for the first time later in life than heterosexual people, gay men were found to have their sexual awakening much earlier. DrED researchers found that the gay people in the survey said that their sexual awakening – defined here as “identifying initial feelings and urges” – on average came in at 13.8 years old. In contrast, for straight people, that result was over a year later at 15 years old.
LEARNING ABOUT SEX
While there are plenty of resources available to prepare people for anything, the ins and outs of sex are often learned from real-world experience with a sexual partner informing people most frequently, although respondents who identified as gay cited this source the most. Watching porn came next, followed by discussing it with friends and, for many, perusing Internet forums. At the bottom of the list was talking with a family member, with no more than a third of any demographic learning about sex from their relatives.
MEANWHILE, IN THE PHILIPPINES…
There are no similar studies made in the Philippines, although there are (at least some) available data on the first sexual initiation of Filipinos.
The Philippine Statistics Authority, for instance, reported that “one in 10 young Filipino women age 15-19 has begun childbearing: 8% are already mothers and another 2% are pregnant with their first child”, based on the results of the 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS). Among young adult women age 20 to 24, 43% are already mothers and 4% are pregnant with their first child. The same survey also revealed that one in five (19%) young adult Filipino women age 18 to 24 years had initiated their sexual activity before age 18.
Meanwhile, according to Dr. Jose Florante J. Leyson, writing in the Encyclopedia of Sexuality: “In Filipino society today, it is not unusual for preteenage boys to engage in exploratory ‘sex’ games with other boys and girls. Such exploratory play allows the child to reassure him/herself of the normality of his or her body. This kind of childhood sexual rehearsal games was more common in the past and in rural areas, when violence and drugs were not as devastating as they are now in the urban areas. In some cases, boys would observe couples kissing and hugging in the park. Occasionally, they sit in the balconies of movie theaters where couples are engaging in heavy petting. In the rural areas and barrios, boys commonly compare their bodies with a friend, relative, or schoolmates. Generally speaking, parents and other adults have a mildly negative response when they discover child sexual play, ranging from warnings to spankings.”
The UNFPA also reported that in the Philippines, the 15-19 age group is at risk of the following:
- Early and unintended pregnancy
- Unsafe abortion
- Sexually transmitted disease (STD)
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
Such risks are high among young women who sell sex. They also have high rates of multiple partners and sexual violence. Adolescent female sex workers aged 14 to 17 were more than three times “less likely to negotiate condom use with their clients than adult sex workers.”
In addition, “rates of violence are also high among young female sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), and young transgender people.”
The UNFPA noted that around 50% of Filipino MSMs said their first sexual encounter with a man was forced.
CHANGING CONCEPTS OF SEXUALITY
The DrED researchers also quizzed the respondents on their views of sexuality being on a spectrum. And here, perhaps as expected, age matters.
Nearly half of Millennials (the generation born between the years 1980 to 1995) believed that sexuality exists on a spectrum. Only 11% of Generation X (born between 1960 to 1980) agreed with this idea, falling to 5% of Baby Boomers (1945 to 1960).
Elsewhere in the study, 38% of Millennials said they would date a bisexual person, which falls to 7% of Generation X and 3% of Baby Boomers.