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Romantic and sexual behavior in young adolescents : repeated surveys in a population-based cohort

By Andrea E. Waylen, Andrew Ness, Phil McGovern, Dieter Wolke and Nicola Lowen


Adverse outcomes of teenage sexual activity are common in the United Kingdom. We used a computer-assisted interview to ask young adolescents aged 11-12 years (N = 6856) and 12 -13 years (N = 6801) who were part of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children about romantic and intimate behaviors. 24% of 11-12 year olds and 41% of 12-13 year olds reported holding hands and 17% and 32% respectively reported having been kissed on the mouth. A minority of 12-13 year olds reported sexual behavior including intercourse. The majority of participants who reported intimate sexual behavior did not regret it. Boys reported all activities more than girls and were less likely to express regret. Our findings suggest that the timing and content of sex education should take into account the frequency with which young people are experimenting with sexual behaviors

Topics: HQ, BF
Publisher: Sage Publications, Inc.
OAI identifier:

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