ERIC Number: ED259273
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985
Reference Count: 0
Responsible Adolescent Sexual Behavior: Are We Expecting Too Much?
Juhasz, Anne McCreary
Learning and developmental theories establish a basis for realistically evaluating expectations for responsible sexual behavior by adolescents. Knowledge of the ways in which individuals learn and of the characteristic developmental levels and stages of an individual's physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development should be applicable in guiding adolescents toward responsible sexual decisionmaking. A developmental-learning model for responsible behavior in children would involve a progression of situational experiences, and learning would take place through modeling, imitation, reward, and punishment. As children reach adolescence, their developmental concerns center on individual growth, self-knowledge, and identity consolidation. For most, the formal operations level of cognitive skill required for decision-making is not yet attained. Teenagers are dependent upon outside sources for accurate information and for models, mentors, and guides. The extent to which youths demonstrate responsibility in their sexual behavior bears a direct relationship to what they are taught. Society, and the institutions and adults in it, must recognize and accept its responsibility for helping to prepare adolescents to be responsible sexual decisionmakers; it is unrealistic to expect youth to do it on their own. (NRB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: For related documents, see ED 085 641 and CG 018 373.