The purpose of this essay is to critically discuss the sociological factors that influence sexual behavior during adolescence. A period of physiological changes from puberty to adulthood where society's perception and treatment of both boys and girls begins to change, also a period where adolescent behavior patterns begin to alter as they encounter new experiences and the transition from school to work. It is the predisposing factor associated with behavior patterns that comes under particular scrutiny within the assignment. As a result of the current changes in the political sphere and the resultant demise in institutions such as families, and church organizations more emphasis is now given by adolescents to group attachment with peers. This group affiliation becomes a protective factor for adolescents and increases the health risks for individuals who indulge in health comprising activities.
[...] The results of the study indicated that a high proportion of adolescents who had indulged in active sexual behavior were not affiliated to organizations such as churches or pursued family activities. These findings were also substantiated by Viner et al (2006) who conducted a similar study into variations in associations of heath behaviors among ethnic minority early adolescents. Akker et al (2001) placed emphasis on the importance of peer group relationships as opposed to the diminishing influence of organization. It is the new culture of the peer group, which now provides the emotional stability for the contemporary adolescent. [...]
[...] References Akker V D and Lees S (2001) Leisure Activities and Adolescent Sexual Behavior Sex Education 137-147 Berkman L Glass Brissette I and Seeman T E (2000) From Social Integration To Health: Durkheim in the new millennium in M Bury and J Gabe (eds) The Sociology of Health and Illness Routledge Chambers Wakley G and Chambers S (2001) Tackling Teenage Pregnancy sex, culture and needs Radcliffe Medical Press Department of Health (2002) First Annual Report of the Independent Advisory Group on Teenage Pregnancy The Stationary Office Kotchick B Shaffer Miller K S and Forehand R (2001) adolescent sexual risk behavior: a multi-system perspective Elsevier 21: 493-510 Position S (2004) Confidential Health Care for Adolescents: Position Paper of the Society for Adolescent Medicine Journal of Adolescent Health 35: 160- 167 Shaw Lawlor D A and Najman J M (2006) Teenage children of teenage mothers: Psychological, behavioral and health outcomes from an Australian prospective longitudinal study Elsevier 62: 2526-2539 Social Exclusion Unit (2004) Breaking the Cycle: Taking stock of progress and priorities for the future The Stationary Office Taylor S and Field D (2003) (eds) (3rd edition) Sociology of Health and Health Care Blackwell Viner R Haines M Head J Bhui Taylor Stansfeld S Hillier S and Booy R (2006) Variations in associations of health risk behaviors among ethnic minority early adolescents Journal of Adolescent Health 38: 15-23 Bibliography Berkman L and Kawachi I (2000) (eds) Social Epidemiology Oxford University Brown B Dolcini M and Leventhal A (1997) Transformations in Peer Relationships at Adolescence: Implications for Health-Related Behavior in J Schulenberg, J L Maggs and K Hurrelmann (eds) Health Risks and Developmental Transitions During Adolescence Cambridge University Department of Health (2004) Every Child Matters The Stationary Office Ethers K Kershaw T Lewis J Milan Niccolai L M and Ickovics J R (2006) Self-esteem, emotional distress and sexual behavior among adolescent females: Inter-relationships and temporal effects Journal of Adolescent Health 38: 268-274 Kahssay H M and Oakley P (1999) (eds) Community involvement in health development: a review of the concept and practice World Health Organization Meade C S and Ickovics J R (2005) Systematic review of sexual risk among pregnant and mothering teens in the USA: pregnancy as an opportunity for integrated prevention [...]
[...] This emphasis on the need to educate adolescents on the risks associated with sexual behavior indicates a general awareness of a global socio- economic problem. Shaw et al (2006) state ”Indicators of low socio-economic position are also associated with poorer psychological, cognitive and behavior outcomes amongst 14 year olds in Australia”. This attention towards education and cognitive development is indicative of socio-economic factors being responsible for poor performance, and subsequent unawareness of protection and risks. This ignorance of the risks or the understanding of how to avoid them compromises the child's health, especially when the consequences will not manifest for years or decades to come. [...]
[...] Although we have concentrated on the socio-economic factors relating to the break up of institutions; it can be generally accepted that contemporary society now places less emphasis on institutions and social ties. Emphasis for adolescents now shifts to relationships with friends and peer groups. The report by Akker et al (2001) into leisure activities and adolescent sexual behavior provides a valuable insight into contemporary adolescent behavior. The report investigated the relevance and possible influences of social environments on adolescent behavior. [...]
[...] today's adolescents, it is beneficial to appreciate the effect of relationships and ties that can create the social structure, which subsequently drives specific behavior patterns. Prior to the recent changes in the capitalist society where we have experienced demise in national industries, adolescent behavior was more or less organized by social structures associated with the individual. These structures could relate to social groups such as families or church organizations who provided a sense of attachment, which promoted support, and a sense of identity. [...]
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