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Description de l’éditeur
The first experience of sexual intercourse is a pivotal event in a young person's life and is typically a rite of passage into young adulthood. Sex therapists often ask their clients about the first intercourse experience as part of their assessment, assuming that a positive or negative experience may impact subsequent sexual adjustment (e.g., Maurice, 1999; Kaplan, 1974). Despite this clinical application, no empirical information is available describing the relationship between first intercourse and subsequent sexual adjustment. The purpose of this study was to examine contextual factors of the first consensual sexual intercourse experience for young men and women and to explore the relationships between the affective reaction to first intercourse, sexual self-efficacy, sexual aversion, and current adjustment in young adults. First sexual intercourse is typically a very salient experience for young men and women and is likely to significantly contribute to sexual development and possibly to later sexual adjustment. However, research has largely focused on the age at first intercourse and the prevention of "early" first intercourse, sexually transmitted infection (STI), and unwanted pregnancy (e.g., Gebhardt, Kuyper, & Dusseldorp, 2006; Laflin, Wang, & Barry, 2008; Leitenberg & Saltzman, 2000, 2003; Wulfert, & Wan, 1993). Two exceptions are recent studies; one examined condom and contraception use but also emotional, sexual, and behavioral correlates of first intercourse in a sample of 41, primarily African American, adolescent women (Tanner, Hensel, & Fortenberry, 2010). The authors used prospective diary entries to identify the day of, and the day following first coitus, and identified sexual interest as significantly higher the day prior to first intercourse, indicating that young women may express more agency in their first experience instead of responding to male sexual interest. The other exception was a study examining physiological and psychological satisfaction at first intercourse in a sample of 1,986 young American men and women (Higgins, Trussell, Moore, & Davidson, 2010). The results indicate that being in a closer, loving relationship is associated with less feelings of guilt and more physical and psychological satisfaction for men and, in particular, for women. The authors pointed out that gender disparity in sexual satisfaction was large and significant, with men experiencing more psychological and physical pleasure. How different affective experiences and sexual satisfaction affect later sexual adjustment, however, remains unclear.