Presentation on theme: "Childhood & Adolescence"— Presentation transcript:
1 Childhood & Adolescence HUMAN SEXUALITYChildhood & Adolescence
2 Sexuality in Infancy?At what age does the human body begin its first sexual response?6 months2 yearsIn uteroAt 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 zoneEnjoy touching, caressing, etc from birthChildren become aware of sexuality much earlier than many realizeLearn to disguise their interest/curiosityBy age 3, children start to explore their bodies – alone and with peersCan begin masturbatingPlaying “mommy & daddy” or “doctor”Children are naturally curiousAbout their bodies and othersImportant not to be labeled as “bad” guilt/shame
5 Masturbation in Childhood Most people masturbate, and many recall masturbating before pubertyGeneral message is: “If it feels good, it’s bad”Message is often internalized at early age, leading to potential psychological and sexual disordersNegative responses from adults magnify guilt, anxiety, & shameVirtually all sex researchers & therapists agree that masturbation is healthyChildren 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 behaviorsexual activity can now lead to pregnancyAdolescent sexuality is also influenced byemerging cognitive capabilities (introspection and reflection about sexual behavior)concerns about new social rolesFour 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 rareStages of sexual activityautoerotic behavior – sexual behavior that is experienced alone (e.g., having erotic fantasies, masturbation, nocturnal orgasms)by high school, transition to sexual activity involving another personFor many girls, first sexual experience is forcedespecially among girls 13 or younger
8 Sexual Activity During Adolescence Stages of Sexual ActivityOrderly progression of sexual activity with another personADD Health Study shows males and females engage in a similar sequenceBoys engage in these activities at a somewhat earlier agePage 368ADD Health Study shows males and females engage in a similar sequenceFrom holding hands, kissing and neckingFeeling breasts through clothes, under clothesFeeling penis through clothes, under clothesFeeling vagina through clothes, under clothes,Intercourse or oral sexThis 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 intercourseslightly fewer adolescents are having sex compared to previous erashowever, those who are do so at a somewhat earlier ageSexual intercourse during high school is now a part of the normative experience of adolescence in AmericaBy 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 IntercourseBlack Males15 yearsHispanic and White Males16.5 yearsAsian-American Males18 years
11 The Timing of Sexual Initiation Adolescents are more likely to lose their virginity during certain times of the yearMay, June, July common regardless of romantic involvement (prom, graduation)holiday season in December is peak time for serious relationshipsShould 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 2001One-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 disturbanceLevels 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 alcohollower levels of religious involvementminor delinquencylower interest in academic achievementstronger orientation toward independence
14 What Influences Sexual Activity? Hormones are especially important for boystestosterone 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 boysbiological factors have a very strong influence on boys’ sexual behaviorContext is especially important for girlsimportant predictors of girls’ involvement in sexual intercourse are whether their friends are doing it or whether they have sexually permissive attitudesSocial 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 areless likely to become sexually active at an early ageless likely to engage in risky sexual activityParent-adolescent communication about sexstops 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 okayPeers also can communicate directly about sex, with friends or with potential partnersRisk factors for sexual activity are cumulative
17 Sexual Activity and Household Composition Household composition predicts sexual involvementespecially among girlsadolescents 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 peerstrue 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 boysSingle-parent mothers might be dating and this might model sexual activity to their adolescentGirls are more likely to respond to problems at home by going outside the family for alternative sources of supportGenetic influences
19 The Sexually Active Adolescent Sex Differences in the Meaning of SexBoys are likely to keep matters of sex and intimacy separateEarly sexual experiences of malesHas already experienced orgasm through masturbationMore likely to interpret intercourse in terms of recreation than intimacy
20 The Sexually Active Adolescent Gender Differences in the Meaning of SexGirls integration of sexual activityinto an existing capacity for intimacy and emotional involvementGirls’ view is that sex is combined with romance, love, friendship, and intimacyCan 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 fantasiesHeavy petting with partnerSexual behavior experienced aloneNocturnal 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 adolescencesexual orientation – extent to which an individual is oriented toward heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual activitysex-role behavior – extent to which an individual behaves in traditionally masculine or feminine waysgender identity – which gender an individual believes he/she is
23 The Sexually Active Adolescent Contraceptive UseMany adolescents fail to use contraception regularlyAlthough rates have improved since 1970s, ~40% of high school students did not use a condom the most recent time they had sexPage 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 planningLack of accessLack of knowledgeTaken 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 contactbacteria – gonorrhea and chlamydiavirus – herpes and human papilloma virusAIDS is caused by HIV and interferes with the body’s immune systemCondoms and education are best prevention toolsprograms must focus on the benefits of condom use rather than costs of not using themknowledge of risks alone is not sufficient to keep adolescents from risky behaviorsAcquired 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 ComprehensiveAbstinence-basedAbstinence-onlyAbstinence-only-until-marriageWhich is in place in Texas schools?Which is “right”?Let’s list the pros & cons
29 Sex EducationEffective sex education can reduce adolescents’ likelihood of having unsafe sex, but it does not reduce their likelihood of having sexAbstinence-only sex education programs are entirely unsuccessfulComprehensive sex education is needed
30 Comprehensive Sex Education Effective sex education programs have many componentsprovide information about contraception, STDs, and pregnancyteach adolescents how to refuse unwanted sex and avoid unintended sexincrease adolescents’ motivation to engage in safe sexchange perceptions about peer norms and attitudes