Grigoryeva, Maria S. (2023). A Sociological Model of Agency and Parent-Child Negotiations of Sex. Socius.
Agency theory explains many processes of interest to sociologists, such as overcoming conflicts of interest, information management, delegation of power and control, and the social dilemmas that arise when one acts on behalf of another. Despite its explanatory power, agency theory has been underused in sociology. To better use and contribute to agency theory, the author proposes a sociological agency model (SAM). This model incorporates a wide range of motivations and behaviors for both principals and agents, embeds the principal-agent dyad in meso- and macro-level structures, and considers the role of legitimacy of control. The author uses SAM to explain how parents and children negotiate teen sexual behavior. Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health support the expectations of SAM as applied to parent-child negotiations of teen sex. Teenagers avoid parental supervision and control and strategically conceal information to have sex against the wishes of parents.
Grigoryeva, Maria S.
November 15, 2023