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Sexuality in Adolescence

Sexual Intercourse Patterns In The United States, Racial, National, And Ethnic Diversity, Relationships And Sexual Activity

Research about adolescent sexuality has traditionally emphasized sexual intercourse. Most studies have focused on whether teenagers have had intercourse, how often, and with how many partners. Such simple measures of sexual behavior, narrowly defined as coitus, do not properly acknowledge the varied dimensions of adolescent sexual development. Sexuality, as opposed to sex, includes a wide range of attitudes, emotions, expectations, sexual orientation, and both coital and noncoital behaviors. Although sexual behavior can be distinct and separate from romantic or emotional relationships, they often develop together, and are frequently dependent on each other (Miller and Benson 1999).

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Marriage and Family EncyclopediaFamily Health Issues