The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at Cult Health Sex See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. Abstract There are limited contextual data regarding first sexual experiences of younger adolescent men.
Yet these data that are needed to inform STI and early fatherhood prevention efforts, particularly in lower income communities. Using qualitative methods, 14 adolescent men ages 14—16, all low income, most African American from a mid-sized U.
Descriptions of first sex were identified, and then analysed for narrative structure and shared concepts. The dominant narrative of first sex proceeded through three steps: Mentorship, initiation by the female, and idealising sex as a romantic experience, played important roles in constructing the context of first sex.
These factors should be incorporated in harm-reduction interventions for young men in similar contexts. Adolescent, Young men, first sexual intercourse, African American Introduction First sexual experiences are considered particularly salient by both adolescents and researchers Lewin ; Cooksey, Mott and Neubauer ; Rebello and Gomes Traeen and Kvalem Holland et al.
Studies have examined individual factors such as ethnicity, school record, career ambition and substance abuse, family factors such as parental living arrangement, maternal education, parental communication and parental involvement; and peer factors such as peer pressure and relationship status Mott et al.
Even though these studies describe contributing factors, they are not able to capture immediate context, motivation, and perceptions of early sexual experiences. Yet available data suggest that these contexts, motivations and perceptions are important to sexual health prevention.
While first sex for U. Relationship contexts, such as whether the partner is known are additionally important. Individual and contextual influences on sex vary markedly from early through late adolescence. A more detailed understanding of the early sexual experiences of younger adolescent men is needed to inform STI and early fatherhood prevention efforts for this age group. Qualitative studies can provide insights into some of these contexts, perceptions and motivations that are not apparent in surveys.
It is not clear, however, that younger men hold similar views. A retrospective study in which older adolescents looked back on first sex, male participants described feeling anxious, but generally perceived their sexual experience to be an empowering process by which their identity of masculinity is formed Holland et al.
Much of the existing qualitative research focuses on sexually experienced mid-to late-adolescents. These qualitative studies have looked at the sexual messages that young men may receive from their dating partner Morgan and Zurbriggen , sequences of emotional and sexual progression in a relationship Upadhyay, Hindin and Gultiano , and the influence of close friends in conceptualising and socially constructing sexual roles and behaviours Harper et al.
These studies highlight issues related to sexual communication. For example, our own work on condom use by younger adolescent boys demonstrated that communication about condoms was primarily non-verbal Rosenberger et al. An examination of how boys construct their stories of first sexual experiences can also provide insight into how they view themselves as partners and sexual agents.
The purpose of this analysis was to examine narratives of first sex among young boys recruited from an urban area with high rates of early sexual onset and STIs. Methods Participants Participants included fourteen 14—16 years old, who provided a narrative of their first ever sexual experience. The age range was chosen because a majority of the young men in these neighbourhoods become sexually experienced by the age of Each man provided written consent and parents provided written permission.
The study was approved by the institutional review board of Indiana University. Procedures Young men completed a brief structured questionnaire on sexual behaviour and a 1 hour face-to-face semi structured interview. Two follow-up interviews were conducted with each study participant at 6 months and 9 months from baseline. This strategy helped to reduce recall bias.
How did it happen? Where were you at? When participants mentioned their first ever sexual experiences, the interviewer asked them to elaborate on the context in which first sex occurred. The interviewer listened for shared content and meaning and asked participants to explain or elaborate on responses to these questions. Accounts of first ever sex were verified and further discussed in subsequent interviews. Analysis Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed for similarities and differences in first ever sexual experiences.
Our analysis drew from both narrative approaches and grounded theory Strauss and Corbin , McLean , Floersch et al. First, all sections of interviews where first ever sex was mentioned were identified and selected. Excerpts were read as a story, and we identified a common narrative structure. Within each narrative element, we then looked for shared concepts, or themes. Examples of shared concepts included pre-planning, mentoring, sexual spaces, and returning to previous activities.
For each of these shared concepts, we developed a list of properties and dimensions. Similar concepts were collapsed and differences resolved by discussion. Exceptions were identified and analysed. Results Overview — Dominant Narrative Of the 14 accounts of first sex, 10 reported first sex before the study started, and 4 reported first sex during the study. Across participants, we observed a single dominant narrative in accounts of first sex see figure 1.
This dominant narrative included three main parts: