Turns out that your first time might have been less about being ready to go all the way with a special someone and more about your genetic code. A new study found that your genes affect how old you are when you first have sex.
“We were able to calculate for the first time that there is a heritable component to age at first sex, and the heritability is about 25 percent, so one quarter nature, three quarters nurture,” one of the study’s researchers, Cambridge University’s John Perry, told The Guardian. In other words, your DNA totally affects the age at which you lose your virginity, but to a relatively minimal extent—religion, peer pressure, family background, and other factors comprise the other 75 percent that determines when you have your first sexual encounter.
That said, your DNA does impact when you decide to lose your V-card. If you have one of the gene’s variants, CADM2, you have a predilection for kicking things off sex-wise earlier in life, along with having a higher chance for risk-taking behavior and having a bunch of kids.
They also identified another gene variant, MSRA, to be associated with those who tend to have sex for the first time later in life, which also happens to be related to higher levels of irritability in one’s personality. Hmmm.
The study—which used data from more than 125,000 Brits to identify 38 gene regions, then corroborated those results in 250,000-plus people in the US and Iceland—also found that 18 was the most common age at which study participants had their introductory experience of intercourse.
In a true WTF moment, the study also found that red-headed, freckled women have a higher chance of a later-in-life first time, which is not so in men with the same looks. We’re going to go ahead and blame the patriarchy for that one.