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Early Virginity Loss? Blame It On Genes, Researchers Say

Apr 20, 2016 12:03 PM EDT

Many women who have their cherry popped in their early teens associate their loss of virginity to social and environmental factors. But for the first time, researchers suggest that biological factors such as genes are also to blame for early virginity loss.

In a recent study published in the journal Science Genetics, British researchers associated the age of first sexual intercourse to 38 different genes. These genes include not only puberty-associated genes but also genes that contribute to the natural differences of each person's personality traits.

For the genome wide-association study, researchers analyzed data from three different databases: The British Biobank with more than 120,000 male and female participants; Iceland's population-wide genetic database of 241,000 people; and U.S. Women's Genome Health Study participated by 21,000 women, according to NBC News.

Researchers found out that the genes responsible for risk-taking tendencies can also be responsible for having sexual intercourse in a young age. These genes may also present links to when women have their first baby or even their grumpiness.

According to the report from the Verge, early virginity loss is associated with the early on-set of puberty and sexual maturity. Because of this, researchers say that those who have bypassed to adulthood in an early age are less likely to be successful in the future. Having sex at a younger age increases risks of teenage pregnancy, which in turn can affect the educational attainment of teens. Being deflowered at an early age can also affect the overall health of women.

"Puberty timing and age at first sexual intercourse appear to be adverse for diabetes, heart disease, and a number of cancers, particularly reproductive hormone cancers," said Ken Ong, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Cambridge and co-author of the study.

In the United States, 44 percent of female teenagers and 47 percent of male teenagers aged 15 to 19 have had sexual experiences, as per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Other factors that can mitigate loss of virginity at a younger age are peer pressure and the common "everybody does it" mentality among teens. Teenage rebellion and lack of parental guidance can also cause girls to be more open to the idea.

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