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ERIC Number: ED403262
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Oct
Pages: 6
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Helping Teenagers Develop Criteria for Deciding When It Is Right To Have Sex.
Wood, Deborah N.; Schramm, Charlotte
This paper reports on a study that examined teenagers' modes of reasoning regarding the onset of sexual activity. Study participants, 200 California public high school students (96 males, 104 females, mean age 15.41 years), responded to questions about sexual values and decision-making. Students reported an average of 17.06 years as the age they believed it was all right for them to have sex; male students reported slightly earlier ages than female students. Participants could list few objective criteria for deciding when it would be right to have sex, and listed an average of less than one condition for having sex. Males required having opportunity or desire for sex (28 percent), being ready for sex (12 percent), being in love (10 percent), or being married (10 percent). Females required being married (23 percent), being ready for sex (16 percent), being in love (16 percent), or being responsible (13 percent). Males reported 12.48 sexual partners as acceptable prior to marriage; females reported 6.33 partners. Analysis of the data suggested that teens in general relied on a narrow set of emotional, subjective criteria for deciding when it was acceptable to become sexually active. Also, while students wanted to be sexually active for about 8 years before becoming pregnant, few teens listed preconditions to sexual activity that would ensure such an outcome. (ND)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California