Sex role development and teenage fertility-related behavior

Adolescence. Summer 1978;13(50):231-6.


PIP: Data from a 1975 survey of 369 females and 325 males aged 16-17 were analyzed to shed light on the relationship between the maturity of adolescent women and their sexual behavior and contraceptive practice. A straightforward decision-making process was found among males, but more complicated influences exist for females. When the data were submitted to regression and chi-squared analyses, it was found that whereas sexually active adolescents had more liberal sexual attitudes than virgins, their sex role attitudes were more stereotypical than virgins. Then the 2 groups were subdivided into virgins who did not intend to have premarital intercourse (20%); virgins who planned or considered premarital intercourse (40%); adolescents who experienced intercourse prior to age 16 (20%); and those who experienced intercourse after age 16 (20%). It was found that the virgins who did not intend to have premarital intercourse held the most stereotypical sex role attitudes, followed by sexually active women, and that virgins planning or considering intercourse held the least stereotypical views of all. It is suggested that this occurred because these adolescents were more mature and had resolved sexual identity problems earlier without resorting to intercourse. Birth control use was found to be more effective among the adolescents who experienced intercourse after age 16. Further studies are underway to test the hypotheses that the more mature a woman is when she experiences intercourse, the more likely it is that her development will be enhanced and that her contraceptive behavior will be effective.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude
  • Contraception Behavior*
  • Female
  • Gender Identity*
  • Humans
  • Identification, Psychological*
  • Male
  • Psychosexual Development*
  • Stereotyped Behavior