ERIC Number: ED281120
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Apr
Reference Count: 0
What's "Verbil" Sex? An Analysis of Adolescents' Questions about Sex.
Campbell, Toni A.; Campbell, David E.
Although many studies have described adolescents' sexual behavior and attitudes, there are little data available on the nature of the questions that occur to adolescents as they move toward maturity. A study was conducted to determine whether the questions children and adolescents ask reflect developmental differences in cognitive abilities and whether gender differences exist in the questions. Spontaneous questions anonymously submitted by young adolescents during a 2-week sex education program in school were analyzed. Questions came from seventh, eighth, and tenth graders. The 826 questions were assigned to one of 10 categories: (1) reproductive physiology; (2) health risks; (3) behavior norms; (4) intercourse; (5) contraception; (6) pregnancy; (7) slang; (8) communication; (9) disallowed questions on abortion, masturbation, or homosexuality; and (10) miscellaneous. The results indicated that younger subjects asked proportionately more questions about basic biology, clarification of slang terms, and intercourse than did tenth graders. Older students asked more questions about birth control, health risks, and communication. Boys tended to ask questions about slang terms and intercourse while girls asked about communication, relationships, and health risks. These findings suggest clear cognitive differences among the adolescents studied and provide evidence of cognitive and sex differences in adolescents' interests in sexuality. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Psychological Association (67th, Long Beach, CA, April 23-26, 1987).