Body image and first sexual intercourse in late adolescence

Sara A. Vasilenko, Nilam Ram, Eva S. Lefkowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sexual behavior is associated with body image, but the directionality of this association is unclear. This study used longitudinal data from a sample of previously abstinent college students (N = 100, 45% female, 49% European American, 26% Latino American, 25% African American) to test whether satisfaction with appearance changed after first intercourse. Male students were more satisfied with their appearance after first intercourse, whereas female students became slightly less satisfied with their appearance. These findings demonstrate that first intercourse can lead to changes in well-being, even if the transition takes places in late adolescence. In addition, they suggest that gendered cultural expectations regarding sexual behavior are associated with differing psychological outcomes for male and female adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-335
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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