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Effects of Sexual Activity on Adolescent Social and Psychological Development

John O. G. Billy, Nancy S. Landale, William R. Grady and Denise M. Zimmerle
Social Psychology Quarterly
Vol. 51, No. 3 (Sep., 1988), pp. 190-212
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2786919
Page Count: 23
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Effects of Sexual Activity on Adolescent Social and Psychological Development
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Abstract

Using panel data from a junior high school system in an urban area of Florida, this study investigates the short-term social and psychological consequences of early sexual involvement when pregnancy does not result. Fifteen outcomes representing components of an adolescent's personality, behavior, and environment systems are analyzed separately by race-sex subgroup as consequences of intercourse behavior. Six general conclusions result from the study. Adolescent premarital coitus 1) does not precipitate overwhelming changes in an adolescent's social psychological framework over a subsequent two-year interval; 2) has more significant effects on the subsequent attitudes and behaviors of whites than of blacks; 3) leads to more positive attitudes toward sex for all race-sex subgroups; 4) has a strong negative effect on the self-reported academic grades of white males; 5) affects negatively the importance placed on going to college among white females; and 6) has a strong positive effect on the selection by white males and white females of friends who are sexually active.

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