The Importance of Sexuality in the Development of Adolescents

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During adolescents, ages of 12-19, sexuality plays a significant part in development. There is much research and data about the biological features that takes place and recently more psychological impacts are being studied. According to a Cutrona and Troutman (1977), 70 to 75 percent of adolescent boys and 50-60 percent of girls have reported to having sexual intercourse by the time their high school careers have ended. How does communication affect adolescent sexuality? A study conducted by Cornell University finds that if parents maintain a positive relationship after adolescent first sexual activity is discussed, it will reduce risks associated with sex. The authors studied changes in adolescents’ relationships with their parents before and after the adolescent’s first sexual initiation. The study included 13,570 participants of the main trial of The National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health and controlled for outside variables to its best abilities. It asked a series of questions that would determine closeness of the relationship. Overall the study concluded that “If parental support decreases after adolescent first sexual activity, this loss of support might well place youth at risk for a downward spiral in which problem behavior increases as supports fall away” (Benda & Corwyn, 1998; Benda, Corwyn, & Toombs, 2001; Davies & Windle, 2001; Windle, 2000) . Communication between parents and their offspring (i.e. with trustworthiness and sincerity), not
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