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What makes teens want to have sex?

Flirtatious_teens There has a been a lot of talk the last few years of the Bush Administration about abstinence based sexual programs for adolescents which has been fueled by the faith base of the Republican party. However, there is little evidence that abstinence based programs work.

As consideration of the topic of teen sexuality is pursued, the question might be asked, "Why do adolescents want to have sex in the first place? What do they hope to get out of it?" In answering this question people rely on their own motivations as teenagers and their observations of others and perhaps base their answers on "common sense" but how "common" is "common sense" and from a public health perspective do we really know what motivates most adolescents to have sex in our contemporary culture? We preach at them the risks and the negative consequences, but is this a viable approach if we don't understand their motivations and hope for rewards?

A study investigated a group of 637 ninth graders' motivations and hoped for rewards in having sex. The results are reported in the June, 2006 issue of the journal, Perspectives On Sexual and Reproductive Health.

Bottom line here is what the researchers concluded:

Adolescents view intimacy, sexual pleasure and social status as important goals in a relationship. Many have strong positive expectations that sex would satisfy these goals. Prevention programs and providers should address the risks of sex in the context of expected benefits.

To read the whole study, click on the link below.

Link: Greater Expectations: Adolescents' Positive Motivations for Sex.


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