Gender and Racial Differences in Teens' Attitudes about Sexuality: A Data-Driven Learning Guide
Goal & Concept
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.
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.
In this exercise we will explore whether there is a relationship between gender or race and adolescents' attitudes toward sexuality and pregnancy.
Examples of research questions about [concept]:
- How do biological, social, cultural, and environmental factors influence adolescents' sexual beliefs?
- Do teen males and females differ in their perception of sexuality, and if so, how do their perceptions affect the choices they make?
- Do racial/ethnic groups have different attitudes about sexuality?
- Are teenagers who have a more positive attitude about sexuality more likely to engage in (unsafe) sexual behavior?
- How do parental attitudes about sexuality influence teens' attitudes and behaviors?
CITATION: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. Gender and Racial Differences in Teens' Attitudes about Sexuality. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011-06-30. Doi:10.3886/teensexattitudes
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