First sexual intercourse: anticipation and communication. Interviews with young people in England

Mitchell, K. and Wellings, K. (1998) First sexual intercourse: anticipation and communication. Interviews with young people in England. Journal of Adolescence, 21(6), pp. 717-726. (doi:10.1006/jado.1998.0191) (PMID:9971728)

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Abstract

This study investigated anticipation and communication around first sexual intercourse through semi-structured interviews with young people (aged 16 to 29) in England. Ranging from surprise to pre-planning, several different levels of anticipation are explored. The main findings are as follows: communication plays a central role, mediating between the degree of anticipation and the degree to which first intercourse is wanted, protected and enjoyed. First intercourse tends to be characterized by silence, especially during early, spontaneous encounters. Silence does not imply lack of communication—non-verbal communication plays an important role. Where young people are ambivalent, verbal and non-verbal communication may send contradictory messages. The implications of the results for future safer sex campaigns are discussed.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mitchell, Dr Kirstin
Authors: Mitchell, K., and Wellings, K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
Journal Name:Journal of Adolescence
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0140-1971
ISSN (Online):1095-9254

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