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Adolescent Sexual Norms and College Sexual Experiences: Do High School Norms Influence College Behavior?

James-Hawkins, Laurie (2019) 'Adolescent Sexual Norms and College Sexual Experiences: Do High School Norms Influence College Behavior?' Advances in Life Course Research. ISSN 1040-2608

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Research on adolescent and young adult sexuality typically does not examine how social norms and other messages learned in adolescence may impact sexual behavior in emerging adulthood. This research uses a life course framework to examine how social norms about sexuality in high school influence subsequent sexual behavior within university cultures promoting casual sex. Forty-five semi-structured interviews were conducted with undergraduate women on a large public Western United States university campus. Women were asked about family, peer, school, and community norms about sexuality in adolescence, and their sexual and romantic relationships in college. Five groups of women emerged from the data: the Religious, the Relationship Seekers, the High School Partiers, the Late Bloomers, and the Career Women. Women within each group had similar normative backgrounds and also utilized similar strategies to integrate into cultures of casual sex on their University campus. It is concluded that social norms from adolescence have striking implications for sexual behavior in the college setting, and that research on sexuality must adopt a life course perspective that acknowledges women’s previous normative environments in order to understand women’s sexual behavior in college.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adolescent Sexuality, Hookup Culture, Life course, Social norms, Gender, Sexuality
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2019 12:02
Last Modified: 02 Jan 2020 02:00

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