Gender and Racial Differences in Teens' Attitudes about Sexuality: A Data-Driven Learning Guide Go to Resource


Adolescent sexuality has given rise to lively discussions over the years as researchers have brought attention to the risks associated with early or unsafe sexual activity. Studies show that early onset of sexual activity has been linked to greater numbers of sexual partners and higher rates of unprotected intercourse, STDs, unplanned pregnancy, and depression.

The factors that influence adolescent sexual activity are as diverse as pubertal timing, peer pressure, parents' involvement in their children's lives, or adolescents' perceptions about sexuality and pregnancy. Studies have shown that adolescents' beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes toward sexuality are of particular importance in their decision to engage (or not) in sexual activity and may in fact be a more significant factor in the onset of sexual activity than parental attitudes or religiosity, for example.

The goal of this exercise is to explore gender and racial differences in adolescents' beliefs and attitudes about sexuality and pregnancy. Crosstabulation and comparison of means will be used.

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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
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