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SEXY YOUNG THINGS; GIRLS MAKE LOVE AT EARLIER AGE.

Byline: By IAN MARKHAM-SMITH

TEENAGE girls are having more sex and at a younger age, an extensive new survey has claimed.

It was revealed that teens first have intercourse at the age of 15, have more oral sex than previous generations and are far less prudish, according to the report by researchers at California's San Diego State University.

Celebrities are thought to be a big influence on today's youth. Stars including Samantha Mumba, Britney Spears and Girls Aloud have been accused of using sex to sell records.

Movies and television shows have also tackled taboo subjects such as teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and abortion.

Between 1943 and 1999, the age of first intercourse dropped from 19 to 15 for females.

The percentage of sexually active young women rose to 47 per cent from just 13 per cent in 1943, according to the study that appears in the latest issue of the Review of General Psychology.

The report said: "Feelings of sexual guilt plummeted, especially among young women.

"Attitudes toward premarital sex became dramatically more liberal over the same period."

San Diego State University psychology professor Jean Twenge said: "The change in young women's beliefs about premarital sex was enormous.

"Cultural influence was so much stronger for women than men and that was true across behaviours."

The study is based on the analysis of 530 studies spanning five decades and involving more than 250,000 young people.

Over the same 56-year period, approval of premarital sex increased from 12 per cent to 73 per cent among young women.

The study revealed the massive cultural revolution in the past 30 years had contributed dramatically to the shift.

Prof Twenge added: "This shift to more liberal sexual attitudes and behaviours, commonly deemed the 'sexual revolution', has dramatically altered our culture."

The percentage of teens and young adults having oral sex increased from 48 per cent in 1969 to 72 per cent in 1993 among young men.

For young women, it rose from 42 per cent in 1969 to 71 per cent in 1993, the report said.

Prof Twenge added: "Oral sex has become so popular. In previous generations, oral sex was considered disgusting.

"Now young people see it as another way of being sexual. It's also part of the general trend of sexual behaviour moving away from marriage and reproduction and toward pleasure."

CAPTION(S):

INFLUENCE: Stars like Sam Mumba use sex to sell music; MODEL: Girls Aloud singer Nadine wears skimpy outfits; MOTHER: Brit had sex before marriage
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 5, 2005
Words:417
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