Early sexual debut has been a focus of social scientific research due to its association with adverse circumstances and negative outcomes. However, there has been a recent shift to considering not only chronological age, but also the degree to which the event is viewed to be optimally timed (i.e., the perception that it occurred at the "right time" versus too soon). The purpose of this study was to assess how individual/family background variables and contextual aspects of the experience (including partner and relationship aspects) are associated with both the actual age at sexual debut and the perceived acceptability of the timing of the event. Using data collected from students at a U.S. university between 1990 and 2019 (
Journal of sex research
Sprecher, Susan; O'Sullivan, Lucia F; Drouin, Michelle; Verette-Lindenbaum, Julie; and Willetts, Marion C, "Perhaps It Was Too Soon: College Students' Reflections on the Timing of Their Sexual Debut." (2022). Health Services and Informatics Research. 97.