Ambivalence in adolescents' decisions about having their first sexual intercourse

  • Pinquart M
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Abstract

This study, based on sexual script theory, assessed ambivalence in the decision to have sexual intercourse for the first time in 687 adolescents. On average, adolescents showed moderate levels of ambivalence. Younger adolescents, students from the highest school track, adolescents with less positive body image, those with higher love attitudes, those who did not take the initiative to have intercourse, and those feeling pressured to have sex showed higher levels of ambivalence during their decisions. Higher levels of decisional ambivalence about having intercourse were associated with a later age at the time of first intercourse and with a lower probability of contraceptive use. This study concludes that some levels of ambivalence are common in young people's decisions about having coitus as they have to negotiate contradictory sexual scripts, beliefs, and needs.

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Authors

  • Martin Pinquart

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