New research shows genetics may influence the age at which one loses their virginity.
One’s loss of virginity has pretty much always been thought to have been determined by one’s social situation, with factors such as peer pressure, your looks, and your religious and economic backgrounds playing major roles in that decision. Now, new research appears to show that, while all these social factors are certainly included, your timing of the beginning of your sex life could be pre-programmed into your DNA, according to an article in the Washington Post.
A team of researchers from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom has released the findings of a new study, believed to be the first of its kind, that looked data from over 125,000 men and women who participated in the British Biobank. The Biobank is a database that contains genetic information along with other personal information about individuals participating.
The team said the wanted to see if the genetic makeup had any influence on the age a person begins to have sexual intercourse, since earlier studies have shown that the timing of the event can have negative effects on the educational and physical well-being of an individual in later life.
The researchers found 38 genetic variants that were associated with the age at which sexual intercourse began, and found similar links between DNA and the age an individual reached puberty.
They were able to divide the variants into two categories, one that not surprisingly was associated with reproductive biology, and the other set that played a part in the development of personality, which the researchers did not anticipate finding. A gene variant, CADM2, was found in those who began to have sex earlier in life. That same variant had earlier been associated with individuals that were know to take more risks, such as earlier sexual experimentation.
Also, those who waited longer before having sex were more likely to have a gene variant, MSRA, that has been associated with irritability, which may have contributed to finding a suitable mate for sex.
The research team confirmed their findings in two other data sets, one from Iceland involving 240,000 men and women, and another in the US, with 20,000 participants being women of European ancestry.
Findings from the research were published in the journal Nature Genetics earlier this week.