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dc.contributor.advisorGrant, Monica
dc.contributor.authorCannon, Lindsay
dc.date.accessioned2024-01-02T19:51:20Z
dc.date.available2024-01-02T19:51:20Z
dc.date.issued2023
dc.identifier.urihttp://digital.library.wisc.edu/1793/84813
dc.description.abstractFirst sex is an important step in the life course of young people, critical to the transition to adulthood, identity formation, self-concept, and persistence in education. Despite the importance of first sex as a milestone in the early life course, many young people do not make the voluntary choice to engage in their first sexual experience. Nonconsensual and unwanted sex are gendered social phenomena that can occur at any age, although such experiences are common in high school and college, when young people are learning to navigate sexual relationship. As young people are negotiating relationships and sex, they are simultaneously forming and working toward educational goals. Thus, nonconsensual sex occurring during adolescence and young adulthood—critical periods in the early life course—can be highly disruptive to academic attainment. Prior work has found that nonconsensual sex and dating violence are associated with negative educational outcomes, such as school dropout and decreased post-assault GPA. In light of the importance of first sex as a life course milestone and cultural norms regulating first sex for young American women, this paper demonstrates the impact of constrained agency at sexual debut on educational attainment. Using cross-sectional data from a representative sample of U.S. women aged 18¬–44 responding to the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) between 2011–2017, I find that women with first sexual experiences that are unwanted or nonconsensual have lower cumulative and on-time educational attainment. In particular, the most severe forms of nonconsensual first sex—forced sex and sex that is threatened with physical force—are associated with lower cumulative educational attainment, net of sociodemographic factors that affect educational attainment. Additionally, I find that first sex that is involuntary, unwanted, and involves various forms of force and coercion is associated with not completing high school by age 18. Finally, although prior research suggests that early age at first sex may explain part of the relationship between sexual debut and education, I find that accounting for unwanted and nonconsensual first sex explains some of the variation in educational attainment net of age at first sex. I demonstrate the importance of sexual agency for academic attainment, as sexual and educational trajectories intersect in the early gendered life course of young women.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipI acknowledge funding support from the NICHD-supported Center for Demography and Ecology (Grants P2CHD047873 and T32HD007014).en_US
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.subjectsexual violenceen_US
dc.subjectsexual debuten_US
dc.subjectnonconsensual sexen_US
dc.subjectunwanted sexen_US
dc.subjectlife courseen_US
dc.subjecteducational attainmenten_US
dc.titleThe Educational Outcomes of Survivors of Nonconsensual and Unwanted First Sexen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US


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