Back in high school you probably thought popularity was the defining factor in when someone would lose their virginity, but it turns out genetics probably had more to do with it than social status.
According to a new study published in the journal Nature Genetics, scientists who looked at the DNA of 125,000 people were able to identify 38 gene variants that play a role in when you are likely to have sex for the first time. Meaning you could technically be predisposed to lose your virginity later or earlier than average.
One of these genes–obviously–was tied to when a person experiences puberty. But not all of these genes were related to things like physical appearance or hormones though. The propensity to take risks, for example, is one gene that can lead to people getting down and dirty a little earlier in life. As for how much of a role these genetics play, Ken Ong, one of the study’s lead authors, told AFP that genetics “explain around 25 per cent of the differences in the age when people start to have sex”.
So while 25 per cent is certainly significant, scientists still aren’t discounting other factors like personality type, environment, peer pressure and so forth.
Interestingly, many of these same gene variants were also linked to other reproductive traits, such as how old you’ll be when you have your first child to how many children you’ll have altogether.
Which means all those “cool kids” might’ve been lying about when they lost their virginity after all.