Ew: Science Says Your Older Sibling's Sex Life May Affect Your Own

by Gillian Fuller

You already know your older siblings influenced a lot of who you are.

They've shaped how you deal with your parents, for example, or how you managed your first breakup.

But your sex life? Not so much.

Except science says they probably had an impact on that, too.


According to a new study published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, younger siblings with sexually conservative older siblings tend to be more reserved themselves.

Likewise, teens with more sexually experimental older siblings are likely to be more sexually uninhibited.

Researchers from Brown University gathered this evidence by evaluating the behaviors of teens between the ages of 12 and 18. A group of only children served as the control for the study.

But here's the catch: In order to be influenced, the younger sibling has to have some understanding of the older sibling's sexual activity.

If the younger sibling genuinely has no grasp on the older sibling's intimate life, they're unlikely to be influenced by their behavior.

It makes sense: Younger siblings tend to emulate their older brothers or sisters.

If an older sister loses her virginity at, say, 15 and tells her 12-year-old sister, the younger one will be more likely to think that 15 is the standard age to start having sex.

But the researchers note the study is a little bit flawed, explaining,

We don't know how accurate our results are because some siblings are super close, discussing in the dark, whereas some are feeding their younger siblings information as a scare tactic.

So, take from that what you will.

At least now you can blame your perpetual singledom on your older sis -- science says it's all her fault.

Citations: Study finds relationship between siblings, levels of sexual activity (The Brown Daily Herald), Science Says Your Older Sibling Influenced Your Sex Life And You Probably Never Realized It (Bustle)