Positive, Negative, or Mixed Feelings? A Person-Centered Approach to Consequences of First Penile-Vaginal Intercourse in College Students

Sara A. Vasilenko, Tracy L. Walters, Alyssa N. Clark, Eva S. Lefkowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Many adolescents and young adults have mixed feelings about their experience of first vaginal intercourse, experiencing both positive consequences like physical satisfaction and love, as well as negative consequences like guilt and anxiety. However, no study has examined the patterns of consequences individuals experience after first vaginal intercourse, which can provide a more nuanced sense of young adults’ feelings. We used latent class analysis to examine consequences of first vaginal intercourse in a longitudinal study of college students in the Northeastern United States (N = 191; 45.6% female, 30.9% White/European American, 23.6% Asian American/Pacific Islander, 22.5% Hispanic/Latino, 14.7% Black/African American, 8.4% multiracial). For male college students, classes included Multidimensional Positive (49.4%), Intimacy and Satisfaction (4.39%), and Guilt and Regret (16.22%). For female college students, classes included Intimacy, Satisfaction, and Pain (40.84%), Primarily Negative (31.11%), and Mixed Feelings (20.86%). For male students, age at first vaginal intercourse, first intercourse with a non-relationship partner, religiosity, and non-use of contraceptives were associated with class membership; for female students, first intercourse with a non-relationship partner was associated with being* in classes marked by multiple negative consequences. Findings differ by gender and are partially in line with the sexual double standard, but provide a more nuanced picture, with the majority of both male and female college students likely to report positive consequences, specifically intimacy and physical satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Consequences of sex
  • First sexual intercourse
  • Latent class analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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