This chapter reviews literature from 1985 to the present that is focused on the development of sexual behaviors in adolescents, decision making about sexual behavior, and sexual risk-taking behaviors. Results show that sexual behavior is part of most people’s lives from childhood through adulthood, and that the majority of adolescents begin to engage in sexual behaviors in their teenage years. Synthesis of this large body of research reveals a lack of theoretical frameworks to guide research in sexual risk taking, resulting in an incomplete understanding of the predictors of sexual risk-taking behavior in adolescents. New and broader approaches in the study of sexual risk taking are needed that include consideration of the social and developmental context from which adolescents make decisions about sexual behavior.
Annual Review of Nursing Research – Springer Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 1998