While the age that people have their first sexual encounter is largely due to environmental factors such as family or society, scientists are suggesting that this can also be due to an individual’s genetics. Researchers are interested in this topic because they propose that the age at which a person has their first sexual encounter can affect mental health and educational achievements later in life. Puberty at an earlier age in linked to increased risk for diseases, so the age of their first sexual experience is also a topic of interest. In order to test this, researchers identified 38 genes and separated them into two groups: the ones that influence a person’s physical maturity, and the others that contribute to personality type. The genes that influence the physical maturity are involved with puberty and therefore have an effect on when the body is ready for sex. The genes that influence personality affect whether or not that person is more inclined to take risks as well as their level of irritability. The risky people tend to have sex earlier, while the irritable people tend to have sex later on in life. While genetics does have an effect, so does social factors, so ultimately the timing of the first sexual experience is nature and nurture.
While genetics seems to also contribute to the age at which a person has sex, I believe that it is affected greater by social aspects. Regardless of whether or not a person has genes that supposedly make a person have sex earlier, this cannot be done unless they have someone who is willing to have sex with them. While some people are willing to have sex with anyone, others have certain values where they either will not have sex unless they are in a serious relationship, or even until they are married due to religious beliefs. However, it is interesting that the age at which a person goes through puberty and the age of when they first have sex can affect their mental health later on in life. The more these factors are researched, the better understanding we will have on the effects of these topics.