According to a report by the National Center for Health Statistics, more than half of all teenagers in the U. It is not uncommon for teens to engage in risky sexual behaviors such as lack of protection or multiple sexual partners. The CDC reports that half of all newly reported STDs occur in young people between the ages of 15 and 24 and that nearly half of all sexually active high schoolers did not use condoms the last time they had sex. Research suggests that self-esteem is an important factor in determining whether teens are sexually active, but the effect is different between girls and boys. A number of studies have found a connection between self-esteem and teen sexual activity.
High-Risk Sexual Behavior
Sexual Behavior | Introduction to Psychology
Sexuality may be experienced and expressed in a variety of ways, including thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, practices, roles, and relationships. Some researchers believe that sexual behavior is determined by genetics; however, others assert that it is largely molded by the environment. Human sexuality impacts, and is impacted by, cultural, political, legal, and philosophical aspects of life, and can interact with issues of morality, ethics, theology, spirituality, or religion. Figure 1. A male rat that cannot engage in sexual behavior still seeks receptive females, suggesting that the ability to engage in sexual behavior and the motivation to do so are mediated by different systems in the brain. Like food, sex is an important part of our lives.
National Center on the Sexual Behavior of Youth
Adolescent sexuality is a stage of human development in which adolescents experience and explore sexual feelings. Interest in sexuality intensifies during the onset of puberty , and sexuality is often a vital aspect of teenagers' lives. Sexual interest among adolescents, as among adults, can vary greatly, and is influenced by cultural norms and mores , sex education , as well as comprehensive sexuality education provided, sexual orientation , and social controls such as age-of-consent laws. Sexual activity in general is associated with various risks. Contraceptives specifically reduce the chance of pregnancy.
At-risk behavior is anything that puts youth at risk for future negative consequences, like poor health, injury or death. And while risky behavior as a teen isn't a new concept most adults can likely recall at least a few poor choices they made as a teen , the type of risks teens are taking are shifting. One of the reasons risky behavior is so common during adolescence is because the teen brain isn't yet fully developed.