Thirteen percent of delayers and 53% of anticipators initiated intercourse within a year of the 1988 survey (not shown), and the difference was statistically significant (p<.001).
However, being influenced by parents significantly increased the odds of first sex among delayers (2.7) but not anticipators; the difference between the two groups was marginally significant (p=.06-not shown).
The odds ratios associated with school grades were similar for delayers (0.6) and anticipators (0.7).
By far the largest difference between delayers and anticipators was in the effect of having a mother who gave birth as a teenager.
Given the selective nature of the sample, race had no effect on sexual initiation among either group of youths, but older age increased the likelihood of transition to first sex among both delayers (1.6) and anticipators (1.4).
Overall, the model was more predictive of the transition to sexual activity among anticipators than delayers.
Our findings generally support the conclusions of Whitaker and colleagues (20)--that is, the sexual behavior of anticipators occurs in a higher-risk context than that of delayers.
Delayers are more disapproving of premarital sex than anticipators, and they may have internalized the decision to postpone first sex as well as a decision not to participate in other risky behaviors.
For preventive and intervention programs to be effective, health educators need to identify delayers and anticipators, and develop programs specific to their needs and to their distinct social, psychological and behavioral contexts.
We found little evidence that parental monitoring, influence of friends, school achievement and church attendance reduce the likelihood of initiating sex among delayers or anticipators. However, involvement in precoital activities and attitudes toward premarital sex are important indicators.
How mothers respond to their own sexual experiences may influence how their children behave: Having a mother who gave birth as a teenager is predictive of anticipators' early sexual initiation.
Further research is needed to uncover why maternal education and fertility have such different effects on delayers and anticipators.