Adolescent Sexuality and Pregnancy

  • Carol C. Nadelson
Part of the Critical Issues in Psychiatry book series (CIPS)


The implications of sexual activity in teenagers have become an important concern in our society. Although there is some disagreement on the incidence of coitus among teenagers, there is substantial evidence of an increase in the past three decades. In 1948 and 1953, when Kinsey published his data, he reported that 3% of females and 40% of males under age 15 and 20% of the females and 71% of the males between 16 and 20 were sexually active (Kinsey et al., 1948, 1953). A study by Kantner and Zelnick (1972), however, reported that 13.8% of 15-year-old females and 46.1% of 19-year-old females had had intercourse. Seventy-five percent of this group did not use contraceptives regularly, and 26% had become pregnant (Kantner and Zelnick, 1972). Sorenson (1973) reported somewhat higher figures with 19% of females and 38% of males having had intercourse by age 15. The impact of this sexual activity is clearly seen in the high incidence of pregnancy and in its repercussions for the adolescent.


Sexual Activity Unintended Pregnancy Teenage Pregnancy Unwanted Pregnancy Adolescent Pregnancy 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carol C. Nadelson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryTufts-New England Medical CenterBostonUSA

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