Genetics may have a say in when people lose their virginity. A new study of more than 125,000 people in the United Kingdom has identified gene differences that influence the age of puberty, as well as the age at which people first have sexual intercourse and have their first child.
The age at which people have their first sexual intercourse is largely influenced by social factors, for example, peer pressure and family culture, the researchers noted. But the new findings also suggest that genetics also play a role.
“Clearly some of the things that impact the age of first sex are social,” study co-author Felix Day, a genetics researcher at the University of Cambridge in the U.K., told Live Science. “By using genetics, we hope to uncover additional biological factors that contribute.” [10 Surprising Sex Statistics]
The researchers identified 38 genes, which can be broadly separated into two groups. Some of the genes influence a person’s physical maturity, whereas others appear to contribute to personality type, the team reported today (April 18) in the journal Nature.