Symbols and investments as signals: Courtship behaviors in adolescent sexual relationships

Citation

Paik, A. & Woodley, V. (2012). Symbols and investments as signals: Courtship behaviors in adolescent sexual relationships. Rationality and Society. vol. 24 (1) pp. 3-36

Abstract

Both structural and cultural arguments suggest that extensive relationship-building behaviors are a precursor to the onset of sexual intercourse. This research develops and tests a game-theoretic signaling framework, which suggests that the association between courtship behaviors and the onset of sexual intercourse should reflect selection effects. To test this framework empirically, this research utilized the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (1994–1996) and estimated probit and recursive bivariate probit models of sexual intercourse. The results showed support for the signaling framework. Extensive use of courtship behaviors was associated with sexual intercourse, but this association reflected the effects of selectivity. However, extensive courtship was more associated with sexual intercourse when adolescents did not know one another well prior to the start of their romantic relationships. These findings suggest that selectivity associated with signaling theory can complement models of cultural influence and structural effects.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1043463111412719

Keyword(s)

Sexual Behavior

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Rationality and Society

Author(s)

Paik, A.
Woodley, V.

Year Published

2012

Volume Number

24

Issue Number

1

Pages

3-36

ISSN/ISBN

1043-4631

DOI

10.1177/1043463111412719

Reference ID

1547