Chapter 12- Life Cycle
Less information than comparison to adolescence and adulthood. The cultural belief that children are sexually innocent, and
this innocence should be protected. Researchers reluctant to ask children about their sexual behaviour. Tend to rely on adults
retrospective reports of their experiences during childhood. More attention paid to impact of child abuse than to the course
of natural sexual development.
Through Adolescence- Adolescent Sexuality
Teens are fuelled by surging sex hormones and biologically ready for sexual activity, meanwhile parent and adults in general
see them as too cognitively, emotionally and socially immature to be sexually active.
4 Major Developmental Tasks of Adolescent Sexuality:
1. Adapt to physical and emotional changes of puberty
2. Accept yourself as a sexual being
3. Explore romantic and sexual relationships
4. learn to protect your sexual health
Puberty begins with the appearance of secondary sex characteristics and ends when the long bones make no further gains in
length. Towards the end of puberty, reproduction becomes possible. The two principal markers of reproductive potential are
menarche in girls and first ejaculation in guys.
Frisch (2002) particular ratio of fat to lean mass is usually necessary for both menarche and regular ovulation. A girl must
reach a certain body weight, to trigger pubertal change, higher body weight is associated with earlier menarche, and children
today are growing faster than they used to. Menarche comes later to female athletes who have lower body percentages of
body fat. Brock study showed a relation to early puberty and absence of a father. Females and males with absent fathers show
earlier signs of puberty, than females and male whose fathers were present during their lives.
Female Changes: first menstruation or menarche. FSH released by the pituitary gland causing the ovaries to begin secreting
estrogen. Estrogen promotes the growth of breast tissue and thickening of vaginal tissue.
Male Changes: hypothalamus !signals the pituitary to increase the production of FSH and LH. !These hormones stimulate
the testes to increase their output of testosterone, which in turn prompts growth of the testes, scrotum and penis. Boys
typically have their first ejaculation by the age of 13 or 14, most often through masturbation. About a year after their first
masturbation boys will experience nocturnal emissions, which are also called wet dreams.
Romantic and Sexual Relationships during Adolescence-
First romantic and sexual relationships, and experiencing the emotional turmoil that comes along with it. Adolescents fact
the developmental task of learning to integrate romantic relationships with or without sexual components, into their lives in
the absence of any prior experience. Widman and colleagues (2006) found that open communication about sex was
associated with greater relationship satisfaction for dating couples during adolescence. On average, age 17 for first sexual
• 84% say they were in a romantic relationship when they had their first intercourse - fewer number said they were
actually in love. Far more males than females reported orgasms during sex.
• Humphreys, Trent University (2007) twice as many University students viewed their first intercourse as giving their
partners their virginity. About 3x more men viewed their virginal status as a stigma or an embarrassment they were
glad they got rid of when they had intercourse.
• Adolescents tend to overestimate how much sex their peers are having, especially in comparison with themselves.
Significantly overestimate their peers’ sexual experience , more likely to report the more likely they were unsatisfied
with their own sex lives.
The state whereby two people live together as a couple but are not legally married. Cohabitation has become acceptable
within the social mainstream. Stats Canada define a relationship as a common law relationship as two people live together as
a couple but are not legally married, the term can refer to both opposite and same sex couples. some jurisdictions recognize a
common-law relationship as a marriage. Acceptance of cohabitation is higher among those of British origin than among
Southern Europeans. The Chinese and Indo-Canadian are least accepting. Common law is becoming increasingly popular in