Sexual coercion in dating relationships journal of psychology human sexuality


16-May-2019 10:52

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Would you assume that there is something bad or wrong with that person that makes people not want to go out with them? Some feel they are not ready, some want to concentrate on their studies or sport, others are more tempted by the casual sex culture of temporary ‘hook-ups’.

Nevertheless, most adolescents begin their sexual lives within the context of a romantic relationship and generally, involvement in romantic relationships in adolescence is developmentally appropriate and healthy (Collins et al., 2009). Falling in love is an emotional upheaval at any age, but for adolescents the feelings are likely to be even more difficult to manage. Perceptions and experiences of first sexual intercourse in Australian adolescent females.

In another illustration of how some of these effects are manifest, a study by Brand and colleagues (2007) compared newly ‘in love’ adolescents with a control group who were unpartnered. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 2(3), 97–112.

The ‘in love’ group scored higher than the controls on hypomania, a mood state (with accompanying thoughts and behaviours) in which emotions are more labile: euphoric one minute, in despair the next.

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Young people are hormonally ‘primed’ toward being sexually attracted to others but, especially in early adolescence, they are not used to the feelings associated with the rapid increases and fluctuations in their hormone levels. Research has not yet caught up with the long-term implications of these new ways of courting, but it does seem that falling in love and romantic relationships are still part of the developmental timetable for many adolescents. The US-based National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), involving a representative sample of thousands of school children in Grades 7 to 12, found that over 80 per cent of those aged 14 years and older were or had been in a romantic relationship, including a small number (2–3 per cent) in same-sex relationships (Carver et al., 2003; Grieger et al., 2014).



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