A team of scientists from the United Kingdom, Iceland and the United States say they have isolated a set of 38 genes that play a role in determining the age at which people lose their virginities.The study builds on previous research that established a link between genetics and loss of virginity as this new study highlights the link between genetic factors influencing the onset of puberty and losing your virginity, as well as genes responsible for personality traits, such as risk-taking, which were also found to be correlated with the age at which people first had sex.
The researchers drew from the UK Biobank survey, a large database containing genetic information from thousands of men and women in the UK. In all, they looked at genes from over 125,000 people between the ages of 40 and 69 to perform a Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS). This gave them a broad overview of how common differences in the genome correlate with various behaviors — in this case, how old people were when they first had sexual intercourse. Going through puberty earlier and having sex at a younger age was one of the strongest associations they found. The average age of puberty has dropped steadily in past decades, from around 18 in the 19th century to about 12 today.
The researchers noted a commensurate drop in the age at which people first have sex over the years, from about 21 in the 1960s to around 18 in the late 1980s. While puberty is encoded in our genes, there has been some evidence in recent years that environmental factors such as obesity and exposure to chemicals may also be to blame. There is also evidence that going through puberty earlier can have negative outcomes later in life. Higher intelligence was associated with losing your virginity later in life. In all, the 38 genes identified by the study offer a look at how the genes underlying both physiological and psychological factors play into our sexual behavior as adolescents.
DanielFayemi for encomium.ng