A new US study has revealed that low income kids are likely to experience their first sexual intercourse at the tender age of 12.
The research involving 1,000 low-income families showed that one in four children between the ages of 11 and 16 reported having sex, with their first sexual intercourse experience occurring at the average age of 12.77.
"So if 12 years was the average age here, that meant that some kids were starting at 10 or younger," said Brenda Lohman, an Iowa State University associate professor of human development and family studies (HDFS).
"A handful of kids reported having sex as early as 8 or 9. We know from our follow-up interviews that one boy who reported having sexual intercourse for the first time at age nine had fathered four children by the time he was 18.
"Those people who say that kids don't have sex at that young of age should think again," the expert added.
The findings also revealed that more boys reported their first sexual intercourse at younger ages than girls.
The boys also had nearly 10 percent higher frequency of intercourse than girls.
"Definitely the age is the most shocking thing about this study," she added.
The study appears online in the Children and Youth Services Review.