Sexual Behavior and Consequences

  • Faye Z. Belgrave
Part of the Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development book series (ARAD)


Teen sexual behavior and related topics have been extensively discussed by the general public and studied by researchers. Topics have ranged from frequency and types of sexual activity, adolescent pregnancy and parenting, to sexually transmitted infections and HIV. African American girls have also been the subject of these discussions and studies. As the quote illustrates, girls themselves are aware of the negative consequences of having sex. In fact, a girl’s sexual decisions affect almost every aspect of her life from relationships with her family, to health and well-being, to academic and career success. Early and unprotected sexual activity leads to several adverse outcomes, including pregnancy and parenting, HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections. Sexual activity at a young age also contributes to depression and anxiety and impaired relationships with family and friends. Other consequences include disrupted schooling and limited career options when teens, especially young teens, have unplanned births. In this chapter, sexuality and consequences are discussed. The chapter begins with definitions of sexuality and related concepts. Statistics on sexual activity of African American girls are then presented, followed by a discussion of pregnancy and parenthood. Factors that contribute to early and risky sexual activity are then reviewed.


Sexual Activity Sexual Intercourse Teen Pregnancy African American Male African American Youth 
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  1. Teen Source. This is a sex education resource about sexual health and relationship for teens written by teens. (
  2. Sex education: Talking to your teen about sex. Resource for parents to help them to communicate with their daughter.
  3. Talking About Sex with Teens Family Education. This website provides information for parents on how to talk to teens. (
  4. Teen Aware, Sex, Media, and You. This is an interactive comprehensive web site that uses media literacy as a strategy for abstinence-based sex education. It provides several modules that can be used by adults working with teens and can also be used by teens themselves. (

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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