Over 40 percent of Russian women have sex before turning 18 and over 90 percent by age 24, but every fifth woman strongly believes in keeping her virginity until married, a study has found.

“Well over a third of the Russian women surveyed (42 percent) had a sexual experience by age 18, while 92 percent had by age of 24,” the survey by the Russian State Statistics Committee (Rosstat) said.

Conducted with the UN Population Fund, some 10,000 women between 15 and 44 years of age in 60 regions of Russia were questioned for the Rosstat survey.

A quarter of women polled in the survey said their first sexual partner was of their age, while 55 percent said their first partners were at least five years older.

“Sixty-nine per cent of young women between 15 and 17 years were aware that they could get pregnant during their first sexual intercourse,” the survey said, adding 41 percent of women did not use contraceptives during their first sexual contact as it was spontaneous.

Over 35 percent of women said they had had at least one abortion. Abortions were more common among those aged between 25 and 34, the survey said.

(Agencies)