Sexuality in Adolesence

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Developmental Concept Paper #1
Sexuality in Adolescence
Leah Pyle
Ivy Tech Community College
February 19, 2013

The development of adolescents varies a great deal from the development of 0-11 year olds. The adolescent stage is called puberty, which in most cultures is where “the rites of passage” occurs and is celebrated with different names and activities. For example, if an adolescent is Jewish, a bar or bat mitzvah would be celebrated depending on the gender. Other religions and ethnicities celebrate the “rites of passage” differently, but usually around the age of 15. The other ways in which adolescents develop differently from 0-11 year olds is physically, psychosexually, sexually, how much their environment and peers influence them, and other complex issues.

First, physical development brings big changes like major height and weight gains, boys develop a lower voice, and girls develop breasts. Body image begins to be important to a developing adolescent. Developing early or later than the rest of their classmates can prove to be an awkward experience if one becomes fatter, taller, large breasts in girls, or more muscle-like physique in boys than others. Crossing the threshold into puberty begins with menarche for a female, the beginning of menstruation. For boys, the threshold is a gradual change in muscle tone, deeper voice, but most view ejaculation is the first sign of sexual development. Boys also have an increase in appetite, their frame changes to appear more adult male. Males vary in when they develop and begin to shave at different times, also “spontaneous erections” occur, which sometimes are uncontrollable and make feelings and activities awkward throughout the day. Males have an “increased sexual desire” that is “often released through nocturnal emissions and increased masturbation.”

Not only do adolescents develop physically, but also psychosexually. Changes take place in emotional self-awareness and sexual behavior. Forming best friend relationships becomes very important to adolescents along with forming other intimate relationships. Sexual orientation is explored during this part of developing and romantic relationships are formed. Dating begins and other social activities become popular such as school dances, parties at friend’s houses, going out in groups. The inner struggle to understand what society portrays to be acceptable begins as each adolescent tries to attain “manhood” or “womanhood”. Sexual behavior changes as adolescents desire to experiment, some being promiscuous, and other practicing abstinence. At this stage the orgasm is discovered and both males and females strive to achieve the orgasm through masturbation. Most adolescents masturbate by the age of 15. Individuals, peer pressure, and family opinions and beliefs effect when an adolescent decides he or she is ready for sex. Some adolescents remain abstinent because of family beliefs that premarital sex is wrong or simply because the teen has decided for themselves that he or she is not ready to partake in sexual intercourse. Some adolescents decide to wait to have sex until they are married. Sexual contact is explored through different types of sex like kissing, petting, oral sex, sexual intercourse, and anal sex. Usually kissing and touching are the first steps in exploring their sexual contact with a partner beginning around the age of 12 or 13. Oral sex has become a more popular route before actual intercourse takes place to save virginity, but oral sex is also take place after intercourse. Adolescents also experience anal sex. According to studies, anal sex is normally experimented with after intercourse has already happened between couples. Anal sex is losing their virginity to gay adolescents and is their crossing of the sexual threshold. The average age is about 17 years old that adolescents first engage in sexual intercourse, and is normally with a partner in which they are in a relationship with. Some high school...
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