How Different Are the Young Women with Forced First Premarital Sex in Their Romantic Relationships? a Life-Course Perspective from the Taiwan Youth Project Surveys

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 10:00 AM
Room: 419
Distributed Paper
Chi CHIAO , Insitute of Health and Welfare Policy, Research Center for Health and Welfare Policy, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
Studies have well established the negative relationship between forced first sex before marriage and a wide range of family, social, and well-being outcomes in non-Asian young women. However, due to the data inadequacy, surprisingly few studies have examined this relationship among Asian young women, and even less has been analyzed on the long-term consequences. Based on the life-course hypothesis, this study contends social norms prescribe the appropriate timing for important transitions and sanctions apply to non-followers which may produce long-term negative consequences. In East Asia, particularly in Chinese societies, collectivistic orientation has been proposed to be a salient social trait. Adolescents situated in this particular cultural context are exposed to strong normative influence. Conservative social norms expect Taiwanese youth to be well-behaved and not to practice non-standard behaviors in adolescence such as engaging in active sexual behaviors before marriage. Hence, forced sexual initiation in adolescent romantic relationships becomes a serious concern and it implies adverse public health and social consequences such as risky behaviors, psychological distress, and a higher probability of intimate violence or divorce after marriage.

Building upon Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model (1979) and life-course theory, we use the longitudinal panel surveys of Taiwan Youth Project (2000-2011) and compare Taiwanese young women on a wide range of family, social, and well-being outcome variables from early adolescence to young adulthood in whether or not they ever experienced forced first premarital sex in their romantic relationships. Findings of this study will advance our understanding of how forced sexual initiation is shaped by a set of life-course outcomes in East Asian social contexts. Our study will also contribute to social and health policies and programs in the advancement of positive developmental outcomes of young women in Taiwan as well as in East Asia.