Sexuality and the Life Cycle: 4/9/2013 12:07:00 PM
Childhood and Adolescence
To alternative would be to interview children about their sexual behaviour or perhaps even
to observe their sexual behaviour.
Such a study would arouse tremendous opposition from parents, religious leaders, and
politicians, who might argue that it is unnecessary, or that it would harm the children who
More children reported sexual experience to the computer than in face-to-face interviews.
Infancy (0-2 Years)
The capacity of the human body to show a sexual response is present from birth.
The rhythmic manipulation of the genitals associated with adult masturbation does not
occur until age two-and-a-half to three years
Orgasms from self-stimulation are possible even at this early age, although before puberty
boys are not capable of ejaculation.
In one study comparing infants who had optimal relationships with their mothers and
infants who had problematic relationships with their mothers, it was the infants with the
optimal maternal relationships who were more likely to stimulate their genitals
Infant- infant sexual encounters
Children may kiss, hug, pat, stroke, and gaze at each other, behaviours that are part of
erotic intimacy later in life.
Non-Genital sensual experience
Being cuddled or rocked can also be a warm, sensuous experience
An attachment (or bond) forms between the infant and the mother, father, or other
The quality of these attachments—whether they are stable, secure, and satisfying or
unstable, insecure, and frustrating effects the person‘s capacity for emotional attachment
in adulthood Knowing about boy-girl differences
By age three there may be some awareness of differences in the genital region and
increasing interest in the genitals of other children
Early Childhood (3-7 Years)
In a study of 1,114 children ages two to five, the mothers of 60 percent of the boys and of
44 percent of the girls reported that the child touched his or her genitals
Children also learn during this period that masturbation is something that one does in
Mixed- Sex Behaviour
Boys and girls may hug each other or hold hands in imitation of adults.
Playing doctor can be a popular game at this age
It generally involves no more than exhibiting one‘s own genitals, looking at those of
others, and perhaps engaging in a little fondling or touching.
They know that a member of the other
gender is the socially appropriate marriage
partner, and they are committed to marrying when they get older
Sexual play with members of one‘s own gender may be more common than sexual play
with members of the other gender
Sex Knowledge and Interests
Age seven, 30 percent of North American children understand what the differences are
At age three, children are very interested in different postures for urinating. Some girls
attempt to urinate while standing.
Children turn to sex play and their peers for information about sex
In the rare society that puts no restrictions on childhood sex play, intercourse may occur
as young as age six or seven.
Preadolescence (8-12 years)
In three recent studies, one of adolescents and two of adults, the average age at which
participants reported first experiencing sexual attraction to another person was at age ten
This research suggests that ―adult‖ sexual development starts as early as age nine or ten,
not at puberty as previously thought. Masturbation
In a sample of university women, 40 percent recalled masturbating before puberty
The comparable figure for men was 38 percent
Boys generally start masturbating earlier than girls do
Typically boys are told about it by their male peers, they see their peers doing it, or they
read about it;
Girls most frequently learn about masturbation through accidental self-discovery
In the study of Swedish high-school students, more than 80 percent reported having
consensual sexual experiences with another child when they were 6 to 12 years old
Most common activities were talking about sex, kissing and hugging, looking at
pornographic videos, and teasing other children sexually.
The majority of Canadians first engage in intercourse between the ages of 16 and 19
Canadian youth who engage in intercourse during preadolescence are more likely to report
a poor relationship with their parents, having experienced pressure to engage in unwanted
sex, having used drugs other than marijuana, and believing that they must break the rules
to be popular
To preadolescence, most children have a social organization that is gender segregated.
At ages J2 f» 13 children are simultaneously the most segregated by gender and the most
interested in members of the other gender
Given that children are socializing with other members of their own gender, sexual
exploring at this age is likely to be with partners of the same gender
These activities generally involve masturbation, exhibitionism, and the fondling of other‘s
genitals. Boys, for example, may engage in a ―circle jerk,‖
Girls do not seem so likely to engage in such group activities
Dating and Romantic Relationships
According to the study, dating, defined as spending time or going out with a boy or girl
whom the youth liked, loved, or had a crush on, emerged in Grade 7.
Many gays and lesbians date people of the opposite gender to conform to social norms Sexualization of Children
A person‘s value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behaviour;
A person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness with being sexy;
A person is sexually objectified;
Sexuality is inappropriately imposed upon a person
An American Psychological Association Task Force report stated that sexualization of girls
involves cultural contributions, including sexualized representations of girls and women on
television and the Internet, in movies, MTV, cartoons, magazines, and sports media.
Sexualization may lead to reduced self-esteem, impaired cognitive functioning and
physical performance, anxiety about appearance in interaction with others, body-image
dissatisfaction, and reduced educational and occupational aspirations.
Viewing oneself as a sexual object may lead young people to initiate sexual intimacy, to
engage in unwanted sexual activity and relationships, and to engage in risky sexual
Adolescence (13 to 19 Years)
A surge of sexual interest occurs around puberty and continues through adolescence
Testosterone levels had a very strong relationship to sexual activity
For girls, the relationship between testosterone and sexual activity was not as strong as it
was for boys, but it was a significant relationship, and it in that was related
And the effects of testosterone were accentuated among girls in father-absent families.
Sharp increase in the incidence of masturbation for boys between the ages of 13 and 15.
By age 15, 82 percent of the boys in Kinsey‘s study had masturbated.
On average, female students reported masturbating about three times a month and male
students about eight times a month.
Attitudes toward masturbation
Attitudes toward masturbation are now considerably more positive, and today few people
would subscribe to notions like those expressed earlier; most individuals see masturbation
Sex therapists recommend masturbation as a way for people to increase their awareness
of their own sexual response and as a step in overcoming a number of sexual problems
and concerns. Same Sex Behaviour
About 10 percent of men and 6 percent of women in university report halving had a same-
sex partner in high school
o Most of these individuals identify as heterosexual
Some youth who are aware of their same-sex attraction in adolescence g0 on to adopt a
gay, lesbian, or bisexual identity, usually within five years
In some cases, sexual relationships develop from a same-sex friendship of late childhood
Mixed- Sex Behaviour
Many adolescents who go on to adopt gay, lesbian, or bisexual identities report having
engaged in heterosexual activity during adolescence
How Many Youth Engage in Sexual Intercourse
By age 17 (Grade 11) almost half of students report that they lave engaged in intercourse.
Young people today are engaging in intercourse for the first time at younger ages, com
pared to Canadians born 30 years earlier.
Since the 1940s, there has been an increase in the percentage of men and women who
have intercourse by age 19
Today 80 percent of men and 75 percent of women have intercourse by age 19.
Recent research has found that the average age of first intercourse is no longer decreasing
and may even be increasing
Rates of sexual intercourse also differ substantially for young people who were born in
Canada but who come from different ethnocultural backgrounds.
For example, a study at the University of British Columbia found that 36 percent of female
Asian students compared to 69 percent of female hit non-Asian students had engaged in
In Canada, a greater increase in incidence
as< for females, thereby narrowing the gap
between males and females
First intercourse occurring at somewhat earlier ages;
moderate ethnic-group variations in Canada; and
substantial variations from one country to another
these trends can be due to a couple reasons o First, the age of menarche has fallen since the beginning of the twentieth century,
although the decline has been only a few months in recent years
o Age at which girls begin to develop breasts has decreased by one to two years
compared to the 1970s
o The age of first marriage has been rising.
Decreases in feelings of closeness to parents and in shared activities with them were
associated with initiation of sexual intercourse, and followed intercourse
Canadian researchers have found that having a poor relationship with one‘s parents and
perceiving friends to be engaging in sexual intercourse and/or to support engaging in risky
behaviours are associated with engaging in sexual intercourse
A study of university students had their first intercourse experience with a serious dating
partner, 20 percent with a casual dating partner, 16 percent with a friend or acquaintance,
and 4 percent with someone they just met
Almost all of the men (91 percent) and three-quarters of the women (73 percent) overall
course experience. Nonetheless, despite our culture‘s course experience.
Only 6 percent of the women compared to 62 percent of the men experienced orgasm
during their first experience
Techniques in Adolescent Sex
One of the most dramatic changes has been the increased use of oral-genital techniques.
Research has shown that most adolescents do not regard oral sex as having sex and many
believe that you can be abstinent and engage in oral sex
Young people today also
pen use a greater variety of positions, not just the traditional
Attitudes Toward Adolescent Sexual Intercourse
Abstinence- Intercourse outside of marriage is considered wrong for both males and
females, regardless of the circumstances.
Permissiveness with affection- Intercourse is permissible for both males and females if
it occurs in the context of a stable relationship that involves love, commitment, or being
Permissiveness without affection- Intercourse is permissible for both males and
females, regardless of emotional commitment, simply on the basis of physical attraction. Double standard- Intercourse outside of marriage is acceptable for males but is not
acceptable for females. The double standard may be either ―orthodox‖ or ―transitional.‖ In
the orthodox case, the double standard holds regardless of the couple‘s relationship, while
in the transitional case, sex is considered acceptable for the woman if she is in love or
M percent of males and 24 percent of females thought it is acceptable to make out on a
76 percent of males but only 54 percent of females thought that it is acceptable to have
sex on the first date or after a few dates.
Motive for Having Sexual Intercourse
Their motives include expressing love or affection for the partner, experiencing physical
arousal or desire, wanting to please the partner, feeling pressure from peers, or wanting
Women are more likely to mention love and affection, whereas men are more likely to
mention physical pleasure.
Adolescent Romantic Relationships
Being in an exclusive relationship earlier creates both more of a demand for sexual activity
and more legitimacy for it.
The most common adolescent sexual pattern to be serial monogamy without marriage –
Intention of being faithful to the partner, but the relationship is of uncertain duration.
Study found that 60 percent of undergraduates had a friend with benefits
Hooking up- a sexual encounter that usually occurs on one occasion involving people who
are strangers or acquaintances
Internet Use, Risk, and Sexting
Sexting, sending sexually charged messages or images by cellphone
These activities have an impact on behaviour; 24 to 40 percent of those who have
sent/posted sexually suggestive content said it makes them more forward and aggressive
sexually, and more likely to date or hook up.
Condoms are used most frequently at the beginning of relationships or in casual
encounters, and adolescents are likely to stop using condoms and switch to the birth
control pill as they get to know a partner better Teenagers minimize the seriousness of contracting a sexually transmitted infection such as
HIV through their beliefs that medical science will find a cure ―in time‖ should they need
They believe that by choosing partners who are like themselves and their peers they can
ensure that their partners are not infected.
The rates are higher in countries in which teenagers are less likely to use effective
Teenagers from poor and disadvantaged families are less likely to use contraception.
National programs that support the transition to adult economic roles and parenthood
provide young people with greater incentives and means to delay childbearing.
Countries with lower rates have greater societal acceptance of sexual activity among
Teenagers are more likely to use contraceptives if can they know where to obtain
information and services, can reach a provider easily, are assured of receiving confidential,
nonjudgmental services, and can obtain contraceptive supplies at little or no cost.
The teenage pregnancy rate has dropped substantially in the past fifteen years,
Most of these births are to single mothers from low-income homes, so having a baby as a
teenager may limit the mother‘s economic and education opportunities
Sexuality and Adolescent Development
Adolescent relationships provide the context in as which the individual develops the
skills and learns the scripts needed to sustain long-term intimate relationships
One important consequence of this process is the development of a sexual identity with
regard to orientation and sexual attractiveness. Adulthood 4/9/2013 12:07:00 PM
Sex and the Single Person
Heterosexism: belief that heterosexuality is the best and expected way of living
Still others feel that their orientation is heterosexual but wonder why they experience
same-sex fantasies, thinking that a person‘s sexual orientation must be perfectly
consistent in all areas
Two more issues are important in achieving sexual maturity: becoming responsible about
sex, and developing a capacity for intimacy.
Taking responsibility includes being careful about contraception and sexually transmitted
infections, being responsible for yourself and for your partner.
Intimacy involves a deep emotional sharing between two people that goes beyond casual
sex or manipulative sex
The term never married refers to adults who have never been legally married.
This group includes those who intend to marry someday and those who have decided to
remain single, perhaps living in a long-term common-law relationship.
2006 Census: 93 percent of people aged 20 to 24 and 70 percent of those aged 25 to 29
were never married, compared to 56 percent and 21 percent, respectively, in the 1971
Canadians are older at the age of first marriage now than in the past, largely because
most live together first and delay getting married
People in long-distance romantic relationships report greater depression and lower
However, long-distance relationships are not necessarily less stable than other dating
Research has shown that long-distance relationships are less likely to end if people have
more trust support from their partner, and expect more support from their partner, and
are more optimistic about the future of the relationship
Long-distance relationship often end when partners start living in the same location
Some young men and women decide to liv both single and sexually celibate or chaste
(abstaining from sexu