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METHODS: Data from 1,975 female participants in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health were analyzed using logistic regression to determine whether the age difference between an adolescent female and her romantic partner is a risk factor for sexual intercourse.



CONCLUSIONS: Young adolescent females with substantially older partners are much more likely than their peers to have sex with their partner, which exposes them to the risks of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.Two studies have investigated the association between age difference and aspects of females' sexual debut.Abma and colleagues used 1995 NSFG data to examine partner age difference in the context of measuring "wantedness" of first intercourse." The main independent variable of interest was the difference in age between a respondent and her male partner, which we treated as a continuous variable (coded in single years).

We estimated the respondent's age at the start of the romantic relationship by calculating the interval between the month and year of her birth and the month and year during which the relationship began.

The outcome of interest, which we treated as a dichotomous variable, was whether a respondent had had intercourse with her romantic partner.