The association of sexual experience with attitudes, beliefs, and risk behaviors of inner-city adolescents

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20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We compared knowledge, attitudes, and demographic characteristics of 630 sexually experienced and 422 inexperienced inner-city adolescents aged 14-17 years. Sexual experience was associated with indicators of risk previously reported in the literature: male gender, older age, single-family home, smoking, drinking, and poorer academic performance. We found lower HIV knowledge in sexually inexperienced youth, which suggested an area of vulnerability compared with sexually active teens. However, most inexperienced adolescents intended to remain virgins for the next 6 months, most had peer groups they also perceived to be virgins, and they were more positive and confident about remaining abstinent. Differences between the groups suggest there may be benefits to developing intervention programs targeted to their different strengths and weaknesses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-45
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2006

Fingerprint

Risk-Taking
risk behavior
adolescent
peer group
smoking
experience
vulnerability
Peer Group
gender
Drinking
performance
Group
Smoking
Demography
HIV
literature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

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AB - We compared knowledge, attitudes, and demographic characteristics of 630 sexually experienced and 422 inexperienced inner-city adolescents aged 14-17 years. Sexual experience was associated with indicators of risk previously reported in the literature: male gender, older age, single-family home, smoking, drinking, and poorer academic performance. We found lower HIV knowledge in sexually inexperienced youth, which suggested an area of vulnerability compared with sexually active teens. However, most inexperienced adolescents intended to remain virgins for the next 6 months, most had peer groups they also perceived to be virgins, and they were more positive and confident about remaining abstinent. Differences between the groups suggest there may be benefits to developing intervention programs targeted to their different strengths and weaknesses.

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