Is losing your virginity early confined to the Western World?

I know that teens across human cultures have the same desires for sex but from what I’ve heard, losing your virginity in your teens is quite uncommon among people I know that are from Africa and SE Asia. It seems that first generation immigrants generally lose their virginity in their 20s. These are in people who aren’t particularly religious.

I don’t know whether this has to do with a greater stigma of premarital sex.

According to this chart, Asian nations (excluding Russia) definitely get a later start than the Americas, Europe or Australia. No data for Middle Eastern or most African nations though. I assume most South American nations follow the same general trend of Brazil and Chile. Whether one age is “early” or “late” is a bit subjective but some are definitely earlier or later.

Be interesting to see that broken down by gender.

Presumably self-reported, and, of course, some people lie, but we have to use the data we can get.

I think so. Though, I should note that most cultural values place more emphasis on women being pure rather than both men and women. In other words, it’s easier for a boy/man whatever, have sex often, rather then a woman have sex as a teenager. Now whether society is right in objectifying women as pure virginal individuals as wrong or right is a completely different issue.

I lost mine in high school. I want to say 15 or 16. I was never into hookups or friends with benefits even well into college and after it. I decided to enjoy my life this past week and a half. I hooked up with, what I remember being about 6-7 people. So, yeah, not a sex addict, but wow, I enjoyed my life for once. And I wasn’t the uptight asshole I usually am. lol

Also I learned I really do not like rose wine. So much heartburn. Bless The Hamptons. Going back again soon before the summer winds down.

Suppose we try to organize those countries in the table that Jophiel links to. The lowest ages of first sex are these countries, where it’s between 15.6 and 16.5. I guess we would call them the Nordic countries. We can’t call them the Scandinavian countries, since they don’t speak a Scandinavian language in Finland:

Finland 16.5
Norway 16.5
Sweden 16.2
Denmark 16.1
Iceland 15.6

The next group are a group of mostly European countries (in none of which is the main language English), where it’s between 16.7 and 17.8. It includes Brazil and Chile from South American though. Since the list doesn’t include other South American counties, it’s hard to tell what the average is there. It includes Israel, but my impression is that Israel feels culturally more European than Middle Eastern. The list doesn’t include other Middle Eastern countries, so it’s hard to tell what the average is there:

Slovakia 17.8
Germany 17.6
Brazil 17.4
Ireland 17.3
Croatia 17.3
Austria 17.3
Czech Republic 17.2
Chile 17.2
Belgium 17.2
Portugal 16.9
Bulgaria 16.9
Israel 16.7

The next group are the English-speaking countries of the world, plus four other European countries (France, Switzerland, Greece, and Turkey), where the average is between 17.8 and 18.7.

South Africa 18.7
France 18.5
United Kingdom 18.3
Switzerland 18.2
Canada 18.1
Netherlands 18.1
Greece 18.1
United States 18
Australia 17.9
Turkey 17.8
New Zealand 17.8

The next group are some more non-English-speaking European countries, plus Indonesia, Taiwan, and Mexico, where the average is between 18.7 and 19.2.

Spain 19.2
Indonesia 19.1
Poland 19
Italy 18.9
Taiwan 18.9
Russia 18.7
Mexico 18.7

The rest are Asian and African countries (although it’s the only African country the list includes), where the average is between 19.4 and 23:

Malaysia 23
India 22.9
Singapore 22.8
China 22.1
Thailand 20.5
Hong Kong 20.2
Vietnam 19.7
Nigeria 19.7
Japan 19.4

So it’s Nordic countries < a mostly European group of countries with a little lower ages of first sex < a group of English-speaking countries and some other European countries < a mostly European group of countries with a little higher ages of first sex < Asian (and maybe African) countries. I suspect that there’s some way to characterize each group more by culture than by location, but maybe someone else here can do that. Also, let’s note that these are not huge differences. Globalization has pulled the world together in this just as in many things.

In Muslim-majority nations, are there penalties for people who have premarital sex, especially women?

Pretty sure the men don’t get in trouble.

What is the age of consent in each of those countries? What’s the age for marriage with and without parental permission? Is losing your virginity in the early days of your marriage being separated from premarital sex? For locations with very extreme differences between rural and urban areas, are both populations being considered? What about those where some cultural groups have very specific and distinct mores?

Spain’s Roma tend to marry earlier than other groups, in great part because they also frown much more on cohabitation and on un-partnered sex: they probably bring down the average, but it’s for conservative reasons. Through the world, many of the people (specially women) who lose their virginity super-early do it in forced marriages; they’re unlikely to immigrate to the US.

What is the availability of prophylactics and abortion like in those countries?

Yes. Whether and how much they are enforced is a different question.

Note that “age at birth of first child” is a classic one-sided distribution. A long tail can pull the average above the median, and well above the 20th percentile or the 2-sigma point. I also question the accuracy of some of those figures: if they’re only surveying maternal-health or school attendees, they’re not giving a general picture.

I’m surprised at how chaste the European teens are. I would have figured their starting age to be much lower than that of the US, but it appears largely the same.

In Japan (or at least, when I was living there a decade ago) it was pretty normal for women to continue living with their parents until they move into their husband’s house. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is the same in China and India.

The funny thing with averages is that they don’t have to mean what you think they mean. You’d think by saying that the average is higher that it means that people start having sex later. But it could well be that your average girl has sex when she’s 14, whether she’s in Norway or Japan, but the non-average girl who is too concerned by what her parents would think won’t have sex until she’s out of her parents house and out from under their influence, and so she has sex at 19 or 20 in Norway and at 25 or 30 in Japan, raising the national average. But, as said, most girls would still be starting a fairly young age.

That chart seems so vague as to be nearly useless.

No differentiation by gender; no differentiation by sexual orientation, no indication of the age of the people who responded (or even how they were selected, or asked). Lots of things that could affect the reliability.

For example, note this part: “Last updated: 9 years ago”. I’m not willing to assume that attitudes about sex have been unchanged for the last 9 years.

Somewhat related is this survey I saw a couple of months ago.

In tribal India, the Muria and Gond peoples have an institution called ghotul. Coed teenage dormitory without adult supervision, meant for adolescents to get accustomed to the other sex on their own terms in their own time. Not connected with marriage. The article describes it in terms of bringing up responsible young men and women in harmony with their society. No hint of it being a fuck farm. Still, I think nobody is actually kidding themselves about the youth’s extracurricular activities. No-strings-attached premarital sex is tacitly condoned.

Slight nitpick - Swedish is an official language of Finland alongside Finnish. You’re totally right about Nordic vs Scandinavian, though.

One could say, rather, making a big deal about when people lose virginities (absent marriage) is what seems to be “a Western thing”.