You are sure to get myriad of answers when questions like “when did you lose your virginity?” is asked. This is because for some people it happened as early as 9, while some have been known to lose their virginity at 40 and above. As a matter of fact, Britain’s oldest virgin, Clara Meadmore, is 105 years old.
While a lot of adults have popped the proverbial cherry, there definitely are few of us who haven’t had the experience of sex and who may even wonder how they managed to wait when everyone else has traveled down the sex lane. There is no need to wonder anymore, as recent surveys have published promising new insights into the factors that can influence the timing at which people get their first sex.
According to a recent research from Cambridge, ‘risk-taking’ genes play a prominent role in influencing the timing at which people lose their virginity. These Cambridge University boffins analyzed data on 125,000 British people, identifying 38 genetic variants that were linked to the age at which these people lost their virginity. And according to the UK-based scientists, a quarter of the factors influencing age at which people have their first sexual intercourse can be accounted for by genetic differences.
Environmental factors like religious beliefs, family background, increase in access to pornography, family problems, the internet, and peer pressure make up the rest, the survey says. The report also states that most people today lose their virginity (on the average) at 13, contrary to 18 as was reported in the past (1880s).
Besides discovering that genes can time the age at which people lose their virginity, the scientists have also discovered that gene differences affecting hair color also affect sexual behavior, with redheads more likely to lose their virginity later in life.
One of the genes catalogued by the researchers to be responsible for people’s unwillingness to lose their virginity at an early age is MSRA, a gene linked to being irritable or easily annoyed. The researchers also found a connection between the early onset of puberty and the age of first sexual encounter.
Bristol University clinical epidemiologist George Davey Smith said this has some significant influence in the children’s adult lives.
“It suggests that earlier puberty does influence early age of sexual debut, which then appears to have other consequences such as, all things being equal, earlier first birth, having more children, less likely to remain childless, and poorer educational outcomes.”