18/10/2012 18:21 BST | Updated 08/11/2012 23:46 GMT

Relationship And Job Satisfaction Increases If You Wait Until Your 20s To Have Sex

Scientists in America have claimed the secret to happy relationships, a good education and a well-paid job is to wait until your 20s before you have sex.

The surprising finding is the result of a study conducted by scientists at the University of Texas entitled "Does True Love Wait? Age of First Sexual Experience Predicts Romantic Outcomes in Adulthood".

They followed 1,659 same-sex siblings between the ages of 16-29 with those who lost their virginity before they were 15 classed as "early", between 15 and 19 as "on-time" and those older than 19 as "late".

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Losing your virginity in your 20s can benefit major aspects of your life

Those classed as "late' were found to score higher in educational attainment, household income and relationship satisfaction later on in life, even when external influences were taken into consideration.

They were also found to have had less partners and were less likely to be married.

Dr. Paige Harden, head of the study, believes there could be several possible reasons for findings.

"People who have their first sexual encounter later also have certain characteristics (e.g., secure attachment style) that have downstream effects on both sexual delay and on relationship quality," said Harden.

"They could be pickier in choosing romantic and sexual partners, resulting in a reluctance to enter into intimate relationships unless they are very satisfying.

Secondly, Harden suggested that people who had sex later avoided situations, such as heartbreak or abuse, that might affect their view of relationships later in life.

Finally, Harden explains that it’s possible that “individuals who first navigate intimate relationships in young adulthood, after they have accrued cognitive and emotional maturity, may learn more effective relationship skills than individuals who first learn scripts for intimate relationships while they are still teenagers.”

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