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Teen Behaviour 


Marston and King (2006) characterized the factors that influence adolescents’ sexual behaviours, finding that men tend to prioritize the need for sex over risks of it, and women don’t tend to suggest condom use or use contraception due to a fear of appearing too experienced or disappointing a partner [4]. Other factors include:[4]

  • desire for pregnancy

  • lack of access to or knowledge of contraceptive methods

  • disbelief in the need to take responsibility for pregnancy prevention

  • perception that being found carrying contraceptive pills will have a detrimental effect on a woman’s reputation

  • intentional avoidance of talking about sex in order to remain ambiguous as to whether sex will happen or not



There has also been a relationship established between early sexual development, poor self-concept, and poor parent-child relationship with an early age of first sexual experience [1].  An inverse relationship was found between the age of first sexual experience and age of physical reproductive development for girls only.  Girls who are overweight are half as likely as girls who are not overweight to be having sex at 14-15 years old, but this is not the case for boys [1]



In some cultures, sex is used to obtain gifts and money from boyfriends, and in others, pregnancy can be used a means of escaping a parental home [4].  In other cases, adolescents may be pressured into having sex by their partner or peers.  Reputations and social displays of sexual activity or inactivity are important – being branded “queer” as a man, or “slut” as a woman can lead to social isolation and in extreme cases, gang rape and murder [4]



1. Garriguet, D. Early sexual intercourse. Statistics Canada, Catalogue 82-003. 2005: 16;9-18.

4. Marston, C, & King, E. Factors that shape young people’s sexual behaviour: a systematic review. Lancet. 2006: 368; 1581-1586

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