Do Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Attitudes and Knowledge Predict Men and Women’s Adult Sexual Partnerships?

Citation

Guzzo, K. B.; Lang, V. W.; & Hayford, S. R. (2020). Do Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Attitudes and Knowledge Predict Men and Women's Adult Sexual Partnerships?. J Adolesc Health.

Abstract

PURPOSE: Adolescence is a key stage for forming knowledge and attitudes about sex and reproduction that may have long-term implications for adult sexual behaviors. Gender differences in experiences and socialization processes may affect the links between adolescent characteristics and adult behaviors. METHODS: By following adolescent virgins aged 15 years and older from wave I through wave IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (n = 4,152), we test whether adolescent boys' and girls' knowledge about, and attitudes toward, sex and reproduction influence the number of lifetime different-sex sexual partners and the likelihood of having concurrent sexual partners in adulthood, using negative binomial regression and logistic regression, respectively. Models are run separately by gender. RESULTS: Men and women who reported greater physical benefits of sex as adolescents reported more lifetime different-sex sexual partners and were more likely to have concurrent sexual partners in adulthood. For women, adolescent perceptions of more social costs to sex were linked to fewer lifetime sexual partners, whereas greater birth control confidence was linked to more sexual partners. Women who more strongly felt that avoiding sexually transmitted infections was a hassle during adolescence were less likely to have concurrent sexual partners as adults, and men who were more knowledgeable about condoms during adolescence were more likely to have concurrent sexual partners. CONCLUSIONS: Adolescent knowledge and attitudes about sex, contraception, and reproduction have implications for adult sexual behavior, but different aspects emerge as salient for men and women.

URL

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.05.035

Keyword(s)

Adolescence

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

J Adolesc Health

Author(s)

Guzzo, K. B.
Lang, V. W.
Hayford, S. R.

Year Published

2020

Edition

July 11

ISSN/ISBN

1054-139x

DOI

10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.05.035

Reference ID

5953