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Childhood & Adolescence

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Presentation on theme: "Childhood & Adolescence"— Presentation transcript:

1 Childhood & Adolescence
HUMAN SEXUALITY Childhood & Adolescence

2 Sexuality in Infancy? At what age does the human body begin its first sexual response? 6 months 2 years In utero At puberty

3 Sexuality in Adolescence
WHAT IS SEX? WHAT IS ABSTINENCE? Are definitions shifting as we enter this time of transition? Lisa Remez (next time)

4 Sexuality in Infancy & Childhood
At infancy, skin is one big erogenous zone Enjoy touching, caressing, etc from birth Children become aware of sexuality much earlier than many realize Learn to disguise their interest/curiosity By age 3, children start to explore their bodies – alone and with peers Can begin masturbating Playing “mommy & daddy” or “doctor” Children are naturally curious About their bodies and others Important not to be labeled as “bad” guilt/shame

5 Masturbation in Childhood
Most people masturbate, and many recall masturbating before puberty General message is: “If it feels good, it’s bad” Message is often internalized at early age, leading to potential psychological and sexual disorders Negative responses from adults magnify guilt, anxiety, & shame Virtually all sex researchers & therapists agree that masturbation is healthy Children must be taught that pleasure from self-stimulation is normal & acceptable – but should be done in private

6 Sexuality as an Adolescent Issue
After puberty, there are changes in the nature and meaning of sexual behavior sexual activity can now lead to pregnancy Adolescent sexuality is also influenced by emerging cognitive capabilities (introspection and reflection about sexual behavior) concerns about new social roles Four developmental challenges of adolescence are accepting one’s changing body, accepting one’s feelings of sexual arousal, understanding that sexual activity is voluntary, and practicing safe sex. Page 365

7 Sexual Activity During Adolescence
Promiscuity in adolescence is rare Stages of sexual activity autoerotic behavior – sexual behavior that is experienced alone (e.g., having erotic fantasies, masturbation, nocturnal orgasms) by high school, transition to sexual activity involving another person For many girls, first sexual experience is forced especially among girls 13 or younger

8 Sexual Activity During Adolescence
Stages of Sexual Activity Orderly progression of sexual activity with another person ADD Health Study shows males and females engage in a similar sequence Boys engage in these activities at a somewhat earlier age Page 368 ADD Health Study shows males and females engage in a similar sequence From holding hands, kissing and necking Feeling breasts through clothes, under clothes Feeling penis through clothes, under clothes Feeling vagina through clothes, under clothes, Intercourse or oral sex This sequence of sexual activity is more common among white adolescents than among African-American adolescents. Page 369

9 Sexual Activity During Adolescence
Prevalence of sexual intercourse slightly fewer adolescents are having sex compared to previous eras however, those who are do so at a somewhat earlier age Sexual intercourse during high school is now a part of the normative experience of adolescence in America By age 15, about 25% of U.S. adolescents have had heterosexual vaginal intercourse. Page 369

10 Ethnic Differences in Age of Sexual Initiation for Males
Average Age of First Intercourse Black Males 15 years Hispanic and White Males 16.5 years Asian-American Males 18 years

11 The Timing of Sexual Initiation
Adolescents are more likely to lose their virginity during certain times of the year May, June, July common regardless of romantic involvement (prom, graduation) holiday season in December is peak time for serious relationships Should be Figure 11.2: Adolescents are most likely to have intercourse for the first time during early summer or in December (Levin et al., 2002).

12 Changes in Adolescent Sexual Activity Over Time
The percentage of sexually active adolescents increased during 1970s and 80s; decreased slightly from 1995 to 2001 One-third of adolescents have early sexual intercourse (before ninth grade) Greatest increase in prevalence of premarital intercourse has been among females

13 Sexually Active Adolescents
Sexual activity during adolescence (age 16 or later) Is not associated with psychological disturbance Levels of self-esteem and life satisfaction are similar to other adolescents’ However, early sexual activity (before age 16) is associated with a behavioral profile that includes: experimentation with drugs and alcohol lower levels of religious involvement minor delinquency lower interest in academic achievement stronger orientation toward independence

14 What Influences Sexual Activity?
Hormones are especially important for boys testosterone surge sparks initial interest in sex for boys and girls (girls are also influenced by estrogens) boys who are more popular with girls and mature earlier tend to initiate sex earlier than unpopular boys biological factors have a very strong influence on boys’ sexual behavior Context is especially important for girls important predictors of girls’ involvement in sexual intercourse are whether their friends are doing it or whether they have sexually permissive attitudes Social factors are more important in influencing girl’s involvement in sexual intercourse than boys’.

15 Parental Influences on Sexual Activity
Authoritative parenting is associated with adolescents who are less likely to become sexually active at an early age less likely to engage in risky sexual activity Parent-adolescent communication about sex stops them from engaging in risky sexual behaviors, but does little to prevent them from being sexually active in general

16 Peer Influences on Sexual Behavior
Having sexually active peers establishes a normative standard that having sex is okay Peers also can communicate directly about sex, with friends or with potential partners Risk factors for sexual activity are cumulative

17 Sexual Activity and Household Composition
Household composition predicts sexual involvement especially among girls adolescents whose parents are in the process of divorcing as well as girls who live in single-parent households are more likely to be sexually active earlier than their peers true regardless of when (or if) a divorce took place

18 Single-Parent Homes and Adolescent Girls’ Sexual Behavior
Social influences have stronger affect on girls than boys Single-parent mothers might be dating and this might model sexual activity to their adolescent Girls are more likely to respond to problems at home by going outside the family for alternative sources of support Genetic influences

19 The Sexually Active Adolescent
Sex Differences in the Meaning of Sex Boys are likely to keep matters of sex and intimacy separate Early sexual experiences of males Has already experienced orgasm through masturbation More likely to interpret intercourse in terms of recreation than intimacy

20 The Sexually Active Adolescent
Gender Differences in the Meaning of Sex Girls integration of sexual activity into an existing capacity for intimacy and emotional involvement Girls’ view is that sex is combined with romance, love, friendship, and intimacy Can you think of any evolutionary explanations for gender diffs? Food for Thought: Can you think of any evolutionary explanations for the different ways in which males and female react to their first sexual experiences? Page 379

21 Fact check… Which of the following was NOT listed as being associated with Autoerotic behavior? Erotic fantasies Heavy petting with partner Sexual behavior experienced alone Nocturnal emissions

22 The Sexually Active Adolescent
About 6% of boys and 13% of girls report having had same-sex attractions, a non- heterosexual orientation, or engaging in same- sex activity during adolescence sexual orientation – extent to which an individual is oriented toward heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual activity sex-role behavior – extent to which an individual behaves in traditionally masculine or feminine ways gender identity – which gender an individual believes he/she is

23 The Sexually Active Adolescent
Contraceptive Use Many adolescents fail to use contraception regularly Although rates have improved since 1970s, ~40% of high school students did not use a condom the most recent time they had sex Page 386 (1/3 of males) Page 387 (20% to 30% of young people) Why is birth control not used by so many teens? The barrier among younger adolescents, may be their discomfort discussing their sexual activity with parents or other adults whose help or consent may be necessary in order to obtain birth control. Also, many young people are insufficiently educated about sex, contraception, and pregnancy. Page 387

24 Adolescents’ Reasons for Not Using Contraception
Lack of planning Lack of access Lack of knowledge Taken together, what can adults do to improve the contraceptive behavior of adolescents?

25 Adolescent Birth Control Methods
Many adolescents report using the withdrawal or rhythm methods of contraception, two of the least effective ways to prevent pregnancy

26 AIDS and Other Sexually Transmitted Diseases
STDs can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites that are transmitted through sexual contact bacteria – gonorrhea and chlamydia virus – herpes and human papilloma virus AIDS is caused by HIV and interferes with the body’s immune system Condoms and education are best prevention tools programs must focus on the benefits of condom use rather than costs of not using them knowledge of risks alone is not sufficient to keep adolescents from risky behaviors Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and interferes with the body’s immune system.

27 Sexuality Education 4 types of programs currently offered
Comprehensive Abstinence-based Abstinence-only Abstinence-only-until-marriage Which is in place in Texas schools? Which is “right”? Let’s list the pros & cons

28 Sexuality Education

29 Sex Education Effective sex education can reduce adolescents’ likelihood of having unsafe sex, but it does not reduce their likelihood of having sex Abstinence-only sex education programs are entirely unsuccessful Comprehensive sex education is needed

30 Comprehensive Sex Education
Effective sex education programs have many components provide information about contraception, STDs, and pregnancy teach adolescents how to refuse unwanted sex and avoid unintended sex increase adolescents’ motivation to engage in safe sex change perceptions about peer norms and attitudes

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