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Male adolescent birth control behavior: The importance of developmental factors and sex differences

Abstract

A survey of sex and birth control behavior of 51 male adolescents aged 15–17 was conducted utilizing a structured interview protocol. The purpose of the study was to describe male adolescent birth control behavior incorporating developmental issues, and to interpret the findings in light of what is known about female birth control behavior. Based on research with teenage females, three social influences were examined for their possible impact on male birth control behavior. A new operational definition ofmale effective birth control usage involving the effectiveness of the method and the consistency of its usage was developed. Findings similar to those obtained from research on females suggest that adolescent sexual partners may be the only direct social influence on adolescents' birth control usage. Results indicating differences from research with females suggest that in general: male birth control behavior is primarily self-oriented, males are more likely to be effective contraceptors with casual partners than with girl friends, males are more likely to communicate about sex and birth control with similar age peers than with family members and/or other adults, and that teen males view sex and birth control decisions as female decisions.

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He also conducts private psychotherapy, specializing in marital and family therapy. His doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania is from a unique joint program in marital/family therapy and sex education. His interests include sex roles and their impact on intimate relationships, adolescent development, and male sexuality. This article is based on his doctoral dissertation.

faculty member in the Human Sexuality Program. Dr. Rose served as supervisor on Dr. Cohen's doctoral dissertation.

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Cohen, D.D., Rose, R.D. Male adolescent birth control behavior: The importance of developmental factors and sex differences. J Youth Adolescence 13, 239–252 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02089062

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Keywords

  • Birth Control
  • Sexual Partner
  • Social Influence
  • Casual Partner
  • Interview Protocol