Secular trends and sociodemographic regularities of coital debut age in Norway

Arch Sex Behav. 1992 Jun;21(3):241-52. doi: 10.1007/BF01542995.


Gender and birth cohort differences and the influence of social background variables on the coital debut age were investigated in the general population of Norway. The data derive from a 1987 questionnaire on sexual behavior mailed to a random sample of 10,000 Norwegians of both sexes, ages 18 through 60; 63% responded to the questionnaire. 94.5% reported that they had experienced intercourse. The median coital debut age was 18.2 years. There were both cohort and gender differences. Younger cohorts have lower coital debut ages, and women younger than 35 years experienced their first intercourse at an earlier age than men in the same age group. When each independent variable was analyzed separately, there were substantial differences between educational levels and social classes with respect to age of coital debut. Multivariate analysis of six separate cohorts revealed independent effects of gender in the two youngest cohorts, whereas educational level had significant independent effects in all but the oldest cohort. Social class did not reveal any independent effect on coital debut age. Population density of the place of residence of the respondents was not substantially related to age of coital debut. Seen together, the independent variables explain about 13% of the variance in coital debut age (by multiple regression).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Coitus*
  • Educational Status
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Social Change*
  • Social Class
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires