Create Account | Sign In: Author or Forum

 
News  |  Journals  |  Conferences  |  Opinion  |  Articles  |  Forums  |  Twitter    
 
Category: Pediatrics | Reproductive Medicine | Research | Obstetrics | News

Back to Health News

Genetics Linked to Early Sexual Activity in Kids

Last Updated: September 18, 2009.

 

Impulsive traits may be passed down from parents, research shows

Share |

Comments: (0)

Tell-a-Friend

 

  Related
 
Impulsive traits may be passed down from parents, research shows.

FRIDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Children who grow up in a home without a biological father have sex at a younger age than children raised with their Dad in the picture, and a study now offers a new explanation for why this is true.

While previous research focused on environmental factors, researchers in this study, published in the September/October issue of Child Development, focused on genetic influences instead.

"Our study found that the association between fathers' absence and children's sexuality is best explained by genetic influences, rather than by environmental theories alone," study author Jane Mendle, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, said in a news release from the Society for Research in Child Development.

Mendle and her colleagues looked at more than 1,000 cousins aged 14 and older who took part in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth.

The more genes the children shared, the more similar their ages at first intercourse -- regardless of whether or not the children had an absent father, the study authors found.

This finding, the researchers explained, suggests that environmental factors, such as childhood stress caused by having a single parent or watching their mom date, are not the only ones that carry an influence. Instead, genetic influence also can help explain the tie between absent fathers and early sex.

"While there's clearly no such thing as a 'father absence gene,' there are genetic contributions to traits in both moms and dads that increase the likelihood of earlier sexual behavior in their children. These include impulsivity, substance use and abuse, argumentativeness and sensation-seeking," Mendle said in the news release.

"The same genetic factors that influence when children first have intercourse also affect the likelihood of their growing up in a home without a dad," Mendle added.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more information on divorce.

SOURCE: Society for Research in Child Development, news release, Sept. 15, 2009

Copyright © 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.


Previous: Health Highlights: Sept. 18, 2009 Next: Angina Often Affects Quality of Life

Reader comments on this article are listed below. Review our comments policy.


Submit your opinion:

Name:

Email:

Location:

URL:

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)
 

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

 
     

 advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)

 

 

Useful Sites
MediLexicon
  Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us
Copyright © 2001-2014
Doctors Lounge.
All rights reserved.

Medical Reference:
Diseases | Symptoms
Drugs | Labs | Procedures
Software | Tutorials

Advertising
Links | Humor
Forum Archive
CME | Conferences

Privacy Statement
Terms & Conditions
Editorial Board
About us | Email

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.