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Age at menarche and age at first intercourse obtained from the records of 229 teenage patients and 155 women over age 20 attending health department clinics were examined to determine the relationship of menarche to the onset of sexual activity. Analysis of the data demonstrated that age at menarche is predictive of the age at first intercourse in that it is the lowest age for which prediction is indicated for all age groups. Age at onset of menses did not differ significantly among the age groups or between races although the average age at menarche was earlier for today's teens than for women over 30. Age at first intercourse cannot be predicted by age at menarche; however, among teens, those who mature earlier tended to have intercourse earlier. This observation did not hold for women over 20 even when the data were adjusted for study design bias.
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© 1988 Springer-Verlag New York Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.