As part of a longitudinal study of young adolescents, data were collected in 1980 on the non-coital and coital sexual experiences of male and female adolescents who ranged in age from 12 to 15 at the time of the initial contact. The follow-up data were collected two years later. Both a Guttman'scale analysis and a longitudinal analysis of these data indicate different sexual patterns between White and Black teens; Whites are more likely than Blacks to engage in a predictable series of non-coital behaviors for a period of time before their first intercourse experience. Of the sexual behaviors studied, the pre-coital experiences of Black teens were less predictable and often involved only necking. These differences in sexual norms offer a partial explanation for the different pregnancy rates between these two groups. They also suggest that sexual and contraceptive education and counseling need to be cognizant of these differences since pre-coital experience may function as both a mechanism to prolong abstinence and to promote a gradual acceptance of one's sexuality.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health