CUP Undergraduate Research


First Sexual Encounter: A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Adolescent Behaviors in Austria and America

Date of Award

Spring 4-1-2012

Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis


College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences



Degree Name

Psychology, BA

First Advisor

Dr. Kevin Simpson


The purpose of this study was to analyze the age of first sexual encounters among college-aged participants from the United States, (U.S.) and Austria. The importance of studying this subject cross-culturally was to attempt to find similar characteristics between the two sample groups in order to link possible influences on the first sexual encounter of young adolescents. The sample size was 83, with 43 Austrian participants and 40 American participants. Each participant engaged in an online survey of 25 questions regarding sexual attitudes and behaviors. Analysis of the data yielded significant results when comparing the age of first sexual encounter with foreplay and oral sex among American participants with the age of first exposure to sexual materials. US participants also had significant results for the average age of first encounter with oral sex and the way in which the participant first learned of sexuality. All other data did not yield significant statistical differences. For future research in this field, the sample size should be increased and diversified in order to gain further data. It is also crucial to conduct further studies in order to gain insight to sexual behaviors and practices cross-culturally and ultimately increase the average age of first sexual encounters among adolescents.

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