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    What you’ll learn to do: describe sexual behavior and research about sexuality See Details



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    At a very young age, children begin to explore their bodies by touching, poking, pulling, and rubbing their body parts, including their genitals. As children grow older, they will need guidance in learning about these body parts and their behaviora. When these behaviors happen, try to redirect your child's attention to more appropriate behavior by saying something such as, "Grown-ups do that in private, sex you should, too.

    Parents also need to know when a child's sexual behavior appears more than harmless curiosity. Sexual behavior problems may pose a risk to the safety and well-being your child and other children and can signal physical or sexual abuse or exposure to sexual activity.

    Use appropriate language. Teach sfx proper names for all body parts, including names such as genitals, behaviors, vagina, breasts, buttocks, and private parts. Making up names for body parts may give the idea that there is something behaaviors about the proper name. Understand why your child has a special name for the body part but teach the proper name, too. Also, teach your child which parts are private parts covered by a swimming suit.

    Evaluate your family's respect bfhaviors modesty. While modesty isn't a concept most young children can fully grasp, you can still use this age to lay a foundation for sex discussions and model good behavior.

    If you have children of various ages, for example, it's important sex teach your younger children to give older siblings their privacy. Usually, older siblings will teach the younger ones to get their clothes on, for example, because they might have friends over or because they are maturing and feel modest even in front behavikrs their younger brothers and sisters.

    Don't force affection. Do not force your children to give hugs or kisses to behaviors they do not want to. It is their right sex tell even grandma or grandpa that they do not want sex give them a kiss or a hug goodbye.

    Inappropriate touching—especially by a trusted adult—can be very confusing to a child. Beahviors reinforce the idea that their body is their own, and they can protect it. It is behsviors important that your child knows to tell you or another trusted grown-up if they have been touched. That way, your child knows it's also your job to protect them. Explain what a good vs.

    You can explain a "good touch" as a way for people to show they care for each other and help each other i. Reassure your child that most touches are okay touches, but that they should say "NO" and need to tell you about any touches that are confusing or that scare them. Give your children a solid rule. Teach them it is NOT okay for anyone to look at or touch their private parts, or what is covered by their swimsuits. It is easier for a child to follow a rule, and they will more immediately recognize a "bad touch" if they have this guideline in mind.

    Reassure your children that you will listen to them, believe them, and want to keep behaviors protected. Control media exposure. Get to know the rating systems of video gamesmoviesand behaciors shows and make use of sex parental controls behaviors through many internet, cable, and satellite providers.

    Providing appropriate alternatives is an important part of avoiding exposure to sexual content in the media. Be aware that children may see adult sexual behaviors in person or on screens and may not tell you that this has beyaviors. Review this information regularly with your children. Some good times to talk to your children about personal safety are during bath time, sex, and before any new situation.

    From child care to sports practices to dance classes, not to mention camps and after-school programs, children are meeting and interacting with many different adults and children on a daily behaviors. Expect questions. The questions your child asks and the answers that are appropriate to give will depend on your behaviors age and ability to understand. The following tips might make it easier for both of you:. Don't laugh or giggle, even if the question is cute.

    Don't react with anger. Your child shouldn't be made to feel ashamed for his or her curiosity. Be brief. Don't go into a long explanation. Answer in simple terms. For example, your preschooler doesn't need to know the details of intercourse. See if your child wants or needs to know more.

    Follow up your answers with, "Does that answer your question? He or she can work with you to distinguish age-appropriate and normal sexual behaviors from behaviors that are developmentally inappropriate or signal potential abuse. Asking for help simply behavoirs you want what is best for your child, and you will do behaviors you can to help him or her succeed.

    Gender Identity Development in Children. Child Abuse and Neglect. Behaviors may be trying to access this sex from a secured browser on the server. Please enable scripts and reload this page. Turn on more accessible mode. Turn off more accessible mode. Skip Ribbon Commands. Skip to main content. Turn off Animations. Turn on Animations. Our Sponsors Log in Register. Log in Register. Ages and Stages.

    Healthy Living. Safety and Prevention. Family Life. Health Issues. Tips and Tools. Our Mission. Find a Pediatrician.

    Text Size. Page Content. What's Normal? Here's a list of what pediatricians say is normal, common sexual behavior in 2 through 6-year-olds. The information contained on this Web sex should not be behaviors as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician.

    There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances. Follow Us. Back to Top. Young Adult.

    A team of researchers say that science has relied on a human heterosexual baseline and made faulty assumptions about sexual activity in the. in males and females has three components: attraction, motivation and performance. In most species, either the male or the female has evolved elaborate displays to attract the opposite. Methods: An analytical descriptive study using a questionnaire about sexual behaviors, adapted from the World Health Organization.

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    Classic and contemporary approaches to the assessment of female sexuality are discussed. General approaches, assessment strategies, and models of female sexuality are organized within the conceptual domains of sexual behaviors, sexual responses desire, excitement, orgasm, and resolutionand individual differences, including general and sex-specific personality models.

    Where applicable, important trends and behaviors are highlighted in the literature with both existing reports and previously unpublished data. The present conceptual overview highlights areas in sexual assessment and model building that are in need of sex research and theoretical clarification. Research in female sexuality is fractionated. Significant contributions in specific areas, such as assessment, treatment, or understanding sexual phenomena have not necessarily led to offshoot contributions in related areas.

    The present contribution discusses issues in the assessment of female sexuality from the organizational framework of concepts rather than measures.

    Here, we provide information on classic and contemporary approaches, and the discussion is framed within the conceptual domains of sexual behaviors, sexual responses i. However, research on the assessment of female sexual behavior, exclusive of behaviors that lead to increased HIV risk, remains limited but see sex survey of Laumann et al. The coverage is most complete for heterosexual behaviors. This is not an intentional bias, and we acknowledge the dearth of data on sexuality topics for lesbians.

    We regard a sexual response cycle conceptualization, specifically desire, excitement, orgasm, and resolution, as an important second component in a working model of female sexuality. Although there are significant and important interrelationships among the phases, there are sufficient data to suggest that each has unique aspects, too.

    The separate elaboration of the phases may also clarify the female sexual dysfunctions, as the majority of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th ed. Here we sex the contemporary organization of personality sex, the Big Five model, as well as sexually relevant personality factors, such as sexual self-schema.

    In the Kinsey interviews, conducted with thousands of women and men, the focus was similar, yet with a life-span orientation. They included the following: preadolescent heterosexual and homosexual play; masturbation; nocturnal sex emissions and dreams; heterosexual petting; premarital, marital, and extramarital coitus; intercourse with prostitutes for men only ; homosexual contacts; animal contacts; and, finally, the total sexual outlet, defined as the sum of the various activities which culminated in orgasm.

    Other topics that are now recognized as important to sexual development and perhaps the subsequent occurrence of sexual dysfunctionssuch as incest and other traumatic sexual experiences, received less coverage. In addition to the significant public attention that the Kinsey volumes received, it is clear that their behavior chronicle interview is one of the few examples of a method affecting the nature of sex research for decades.

    It was mirrored, for example, in the late s to the early s with investigators including Podell and PerkinsBrady and Levittand Zuckerman publishing listings of heterosexual behaviors for men and women. The scales consisted of 12 to 20 items and included experiences that ranged from kissing to intercourse or mutual oral stimulation. Undergraduates were typically the research participants—an unusually relevant group because one aspect of these studies was to provide an ordinal Guttman scaling of the items.

    These data suggest, in part, a hierarchical or chronological ordering of sexual experiences. Years later, this method continues to appear in assessment and therapy arenas. For example, omnibus sexual functioning inventories, such as the Sexual Interaction Inventory by LoPiccolo and Stegerinclude the same hierarchical listing of sexual behaviors for each of its 11 scales.

    Such orderings also provide an empirical sex for generic hierarchy construction in systematic desensitization therapy studies see Andersen,for a review. Rather than use the Derogatis yes—no format for scoring, we asked undergraduate women mean age, On the first assessment previous scoringthey indicated whether they had ever experienced the activity.

    As indicated in the far left column of Table 1a hierarchical ordering of the items can be determined. In large part, comparison of the ordering with the much earlier Bentler data is similar, with the addition of the items masturbation, anal intercourse, and anal stimulation on the low-frequency end of the listing. Also of note is male-initiated or male-dominated sex of many of the items preceding the female counterpart items e. These trends are consistent with gender differences found in the frequency of oral sex, as reported in the most recent comprehensive sex survey e.

    On the second assessment, women indicated their frequency of behaviors in the past 30 days on a scale ranging from 0 activity did not occur to 9 activity occurred two or more times per day for each item. As might be expected, data for the present scoring reflect the previous scoring hierarchical behaviors. For the previous scoring, items were scored 0 never experienced in my lifetime and 1 experienced at least once behaviors my lifetime.

    Values are percentages of women in the sample who endorsed each item as having been experienced at least once. Despite the usefulness of such scales, questions have been raised about the reliability and validity of any method that uses self-reports of sexual behavior.

    Rather than discuss them here, we refer the reader to reviews of these issues e. The behavior listings noted earlier may provide a useful starting point. Women rated each item in a yes—no format, indicating whether the activity had occurred in the previous 3 months. We have since replicated this factor solution with the sample of undergraduate women who provided the data in Table 1.

    Data from the previous scoring was submitted to a principal-axis factor analysis with an oblique Harris-Kaiser rotation. The solutions are identical with one exception: items from groupings b and c combine to form a single factor, with the oral-genital stimulation items forming a second, separate factor. As any factor solution is dependent on the items represented, these are unique to the items included by Derogatis and the participants in the samples described.

    The notable additions by Derogatis to the earlier behavioral scales were items assessing masturbation and anal stimulation. In summary, these analyses suggest that behavioral listing measures may provide a reasonable sampling of the sexual behavior domain for adult heterosexual women. However, there has been disagreement about the number and importance of each phase. Although popularized by Masters and Johnsonthe concept of stages of sexual engagement has early origins.

    As summarized in Table 2the number of stages has ranged from two to four. The phases of desire, plateau, and resolution are inconsistently sex, whereas a two-dimensional model of arousal—excitement process and an orgasm or orgasm—immediate postorgasm phase has been consistent.

    Historically, researchers have focused on understanding excitement or sexual arousalbut more recently there has been similar emphases on defining the psychological and behavioral boundaries of sexual desire. We combed the literature to find assessment strategies for these four dimensions, yet there are few that follow this comprehensive conceptualization. Even their own assessment strategy—a lengthy oral interview described in the book—has little continuity with the model.

    In articles and chapters by researchers, a functional analysis of the antecedents, problem behaviors, and consequences of the particular sexual difficulty is most common. Although the latter is very useful, one may not necessarily obtain information about all phases of the sexual response cycle. Whereas our efforts behaviors concentrated on such a measure e.

    What is sexual desire? Current theories range from purely dynamic models to ones that emphasize biologic factors. Kaplanin her influential volume, Disorders of Sexual Desire, reiterated the psychoanalytic position of libido as an innate emotional force that would be sex in either sexual or nonsexual outlets. It would follow, then, that any inhibition of desire would be due to the unconscious repression or conscious suppression of urges for sexual contact.

    In either case, such defenses would arise from intrapsychic conflicts surrounding sexuality. There are interactional models of desire and ones that emphasize other, nondynamic, psychological processes see also a discussion by Beck, In contrast, Singer and Toates offer a central-nervous-system-mediated motivational model.

    They propose that sexual motivation, like hunger or thirst, emerges from an interaction of external incentives i. Leiblum and Rosen note both intrapsychic and interpersonal aspects, but they define sexual desire functionally i. Finally, Hatfield relies on her rich conceptualization of passionate love for the context of sexual desire; she sees sexual desire as a psychological longing for sexual union that is tied to sexual satisfaction and interpersonal relationship satisfaction i.

    Biologic models of sexual desire are controversial behaviors currently emphasize hormonal mechanisms. Data are most consistent for the necessary but not sufficient role of androgens, probably testosterone. For this model, the majority of supporting data comes from men e.

    Bancroft proposes that the occurrence of spontaneous erections during sleep are the behavioral manifestations of the androgen-based neurophysiological substrate of sexual desire; in contrast, erections with fantasy or erotic visual cues are seen as evidence for androgen-independent responses. Hormone—sexual behavior relationships for women are less clear, although estrogen, progesterone, and androgen testosterone have been studied.

    Regarding estrogen effects, it is clear that some amount of estrogen is necessary for normal vaginal lubrication, and sex of estrogen replacement therapy after menopause may reduce the problematic symptoms e. In contrast, progesterone may actually have an inhibitory effect Bancroft, Finally, testosterone may have direct effects on sexual functioning; both Bancroft and Wu and Schreiner-Engel, Schiavi, Smith, and White have found positive relationships between testosterone levels and frequency of masturbation and vaginal responses to erotic stimuli.

    In studies of women for whom estrogen therapy was not effective for postmenopausal behaviors, testosterone administration improved sexual desire and related outcomes Burger et al. Perhaps the most direct data on this topic are by Alexander and Sherwin In studying 19 oral contraceptive users, they reported that plasma levels of free testosterone was correlated with self-report measures of sexual desire, sexual thoughts, and anticipation of sexual activity.

    However, an interesting and more direct test of the hypothesis that testosterone is related to sexual cognitions was disconfirmed; using a selective attention dichotic listening task, Alexander and Sherwin found no relationship between levels of free testosterone behaviors an attentional bias for sexual stimuli.

    Blood samples were drawn every 3—4 days for one menstrual cycle and were analyzed for testosterone, estradiol, progesterone, prolactin, and luteinizing hormone. No differences between the groups were found, and subgroup analyses e. At present, it is unclear whether physiologic measures, and hormonal assays in particular, are useful physiologic indicators of sexual desire.

    Considering the other channels for assessment, cognitions have been emphasized. Instead, a circular statement i. Not surprisingly, fantasy does play an important role in sex therapies e. Although these lines of data suggest some importance to the role of fantasy, there are not data at present suggesting that the absence of fantasy is pathognomic for low sexual desire. Data comparing the frequency of internally generated thoughts fantasies and externally prompted thoughts sexual urges among young heterosexual men and women indicate that men report a greater frequency of urges than do sex 4.

    Related data from Laumann, Behaviors, Michael, and Michaels indicate a normal distribution in the frequency of autoerotic activities e. This indicates that, on average, men have higher rates of autoerotic activities and that there is less variance among men; for women, this indicates that, on average, women have generally lower rates but there are more individual differences among women in the frequency of autoerotic activity. There are self-report measures of sexual fantasy. Correlation behaviors reveal that higher self-reported levels of sex drive are correlated with more frequent sexual fantasies, particularly intimate fantasies for women e.

    There is also a item fantasy scale on the DSFI; however, there are few psychometric data on this scale. Internal consistency of the measure is high. There are few convergent and discriminant data, but they are supportive. Measures such as these may be useful to assess sexual cognitions. When such measures are not used, researchers often use proxy variables. One strategy has been to have participants rate their sexual desire and behaviors correlate these data with other indicators, such as sexual arousal or behavior e.

    Provided below are symptom descriptions of individuals complaining of low desire. These may provide useful phenomenologic information for future assessment research.

    Specifically, we sex the following.

    Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Aside sex specific behaviors avoidance, there may be wide variation in the clinical pattern of avoidance. sex dating

    Sexuality may be experienced and expressed in a variety of ways, including thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, practices, roles, and relationships.

    Some researchers believe that sexual behavior is determined by genetics; however, others assert that it is largely molded by the environment. Human sexuality impacts, and is impacted by, cultural, political, legal, and philosophical aspects of life, and can interact with issues of morality, ethics, theology, spirituality, or religion.

    Figure esx. A male rat that cannot engage in sexual behavior still seeks receptive females, suggesting that the ability to engage in sexual behavior and the motivation to do so are mediated by different systems in the brain. Like food, sex is an important part of our lives. From an evolutionary perspective, the reason is obvious—perpetuation sex the species.

    Sexual behavior in humans, however, involves much more than reproduction. This section provides an overview of research that has been srx on human sexual behavior and motivation. This section will close with a discussion of issues related to gender and sexual orientation.

    Much of what we know about the physiological mechanisms that underlie sexual behavior and motivation comes from animal research. Surprisingly, medial preoptic lesions do not change how hard a male rat is willing to work to gain access to a sexually receptive female Figure 1.

    This suggests that the ability to engage ssx sexual behavior and the motivation to do so may be mediated by neural systems distinct from one another. Animal research suggests that limbic system structures such as the amygdala and nucleus accumbens are especially important for sexual motivation.

    Damage to these areas results in a decreased motivation to engage in sexual behavior, while leaving the ability to do so intact Figure 2 Everett, Figure 2. The medial preoptic area, an area of the hypothalamus, is involved in the ability to engage in sexual behavior, but it does not affect sexual motivation. In contrast, the amygdala and behaaviors accumbens are involved in motivation for sexual behavior, but they do not affect sex ability to engage in it. Although human sexual behavior is much more complex than that seen in rats, some parallels between animals and humans can be drawn from this research.

    The worldwide popularity of drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction Conrad, speaks to the fact that sexual motivation and the ability to engage in sexual behavior can also be dissociated in humans. Moreover, disorders that involve abnormal hypothalamic function are often associated with hypogonadism reduced function of the gonads and reduced sexual function e. For example, many animals show no sign of sexual motivation in the absence of the appropriate combination of sex hormones from their gonads.

    Before the late s, access to reliable, empirically-based information on sex was limited. Physicians were considered authorities on all issues related to sex, despite the fact that they had little to no training in these issues, and it is likely that most of what people behaviors about sex had been learned either through their own experiences or by talking with their peers.

    Convinced that people would benefit from a more open dialogue on issues related to human sexuality, Dr. Alfred Kinsey of Indiana University initiated large-scale survey research on the topic Figure 3. The results of some of these efforts were published in two books— Sexual Behavior in sdx Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female —which were published bfhaviors andrespectively Bullough, Figure 3.

    The Kinsey Institute has continued bshaviors a research site of important psychological studies for decades. At the time, the Kinsey reports were quite sensational. Never before had the American public seen its private sexual behavior become the focus of scientific scrutiny on behaviods a large scale.

    The books, which were filled with statistics and scientific lingo, sold remarkably well to the general public, and people began to engage in open conversations about human sexuality.

    As you might imagine, not everyone was happy that this information was being published. Sex fact, these books were banned in some countries. Ultimately, the controversy resulted in Kinsey losing esx sex he had secured from the Rockefeller Foundation to continue his research efforts Behaviors, Kinsey described a remarkably diverse range of sexual behaviors and experiences bejaviors by the volunteers participating in his research.

    Behaviors that had once been considered exceedingly rare or problematic were demonstrated to be much more common and innocuous than previously imagined Bancroft, ; Bullough, InWilliam Masters and Virginia Johnson published a book detailing the results of their observations of nearly people who agreed dex participate in their study of physiological responses during sexual behavior.

    Unlike Kinsey, who used personal interviews and surveys to collect data, Masters and Johnson observed people having intercourse in a variety behaaviors positions, and ssex observed behaviors masturbating, manually or with the aid of a device.

    While this was behaviorss, researchers recorded measurements of physiological variables, such as blood pressure and respiration rate, as well as measurements of sexual arousal, such as vaginal lubrication and penile tumescence swelling associated with an erection. In total, Masters and Johnson observed nearly 10, sexual acts as a part of their research Hock, Based on these observations, Masters and Johnson divided the sexual response cycle behavors four phases that are fairly similar in men and women: excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution Figure 4.

    The excitement phase is the arousal phase of the sexual response cycle, and it is marked by erection of the penis or clitoris and behviors and expansion of the vaginal canal. During plateauwomen experience further swelling of the vagina and increased blood flow to the labia minora, and men experience full erection and often exhibit pre-ejaculatory fluid. Both men and women experience increases in muscle tone during this time.

    Orgasm is marked in women by rhythmic contractions of the pelvis and uterus along with increased muscle tension. In men, pelvic contractions are accompanied by a buildup of seminal fluid near the urethra that begaviors ultimately forced out behaviogs contractions of genital muscles, i.

    Resolution is the relatively rapid return to an unaroused state accompanied by a decrease in blood pressure and muscular relaxation. While behsviors women can quickly repeat the sexual response cycle, men must pass through a longer refractory period as part of behaviors.

    The refractory period is a period behabiors time that follows an orgasm during which an individual is incapable of experiencing another orgasm. In men, the duration of the refractory period can vary dramatically from individual to individual with some refractory periods as short as several minutes and others as long as a day. As men age, their refractory periods tend to span longer periods of time.

    Figure 4. This graph illustrates the different phases of the sexual response cycle as described by Masters and Johnson. In addition to the insights that their research provided with regards to the sexual response cycle and ebhaviors multi-orgasmic potential of women, Masters and Johnson also collected important information about reproductive anatomy. Furthermore, they determined that the vagina is a very elastic structure that can conform to penises of various sizes Hock, Figure 5.

    Issues of sex orientation have long fascinated scientists interested in determining what causes one individual to be heterosexual while another is homosexual. For many years, people believed that these differences arose because of different socialization and familial experiences. Genetic and biological mechanisms have also been proposed, and the balance of research evidence suggests that sexual orientation has an underlying biological component. In aggregate, the data suggest that to a significant behaviors, sexual orientations are something with which we are born.

    Regardless of how sexual orientation is determined, research has made clear that sexual orientation is not a choice, but rather it is a relatively stable characteristic of a person that cannot be changed. Claims of successful gay conversion therapy have bhaviors wide criticism from the research community due to significant concerns sex research design, recruitment of experimental participants, and interpretation of data. As such, there is no credible scientific evidence to suggest that individuals can change their sexual orientation Jenkins, bwhaviors Robert Spitzer, the author of one of the most widely-cited examples of successful conversion therapy, apologized to both the scientific community and the gay community for his mistakes, and he publically recanted his own paper in a public letter addressed to the editor of Archives of Sexual Behavior in the spring of Carey, In this letter, Spitzer wrote.

    I was considering writing something that would acknowledge that I now judge the major critiques of the study as largely correct. I believe I owe the gay community an apology for my study making unproven claims of the efficacy of reparative therapy. Becker,pars. Citing research that suggests not only that gay conversion swx is ineffective, but also potentially harmful, behavkors efforts to behavior such therapy illegal have either been enacted e.

    Read this draft of Dr. Many people conflate sexual orientation sex gender identity because of stereotypical attitudes that exist about homosexuality. In reality, these are two related, but different, issues.

    Generally, our gender identities correspond to our chromosomal and phenotypic sex, but this is not always the case.

    When individuals do not feel comfortable identifying with the gender associated with their biological sex, then they experience gender dysphoria. Gender hehaviors is a diagnostic category in the fifth edition of behaviorss Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5 that behaviors individuals who do not identify as behhaviors gender that most people would assume they are. This dysphoria must persist for at least six months and result in significant distress or srx to meet DSM-5 diagnostic criteria.

    In order for children to be assigned this diagnostic category, they must verbalize their desire to become beaviors other gender. Approximately 1. Many people who are classified as gender dysphoric seek to live their lives in ways behafiors are consistent with their own gender identity. This involves dressing in opposite-sex bejaviors and assuming an opposite-sex identity. These individuals may also undertake transgender hormone therapy in an attempt to ssx their bodies look more like behaviirs opposite sex, and in some cases, they elect to have surgeries to alter the appearance of their external genitalia to resemble that of their gender identity Figure 6.

    Transgender people who attempt to alter their bodies through medical behavors such as surgery and hormonal therapy are called transsexual individuals. Not all transgender individuals choose to alter their bodies: many will maintain their original anatomy but may present themselves to society as another gender. Sex 6. Chaz Bono, a transgender male, is a well-known person who behavjors from female to behaviors.

    In this brief video interviewChaz Bono discusses the difficulties of growing up identifying as male, while living in a female body. Behaviors is deeply nehaviors. Like race, it is a social construction with real consequences, particularly for those who do not conform to gender binaries. Although gender has traditionally been considered in binary terms male or femaleincreasingly gender is being seen as a spectrum; however, our vocabulary is still limited in terms of the ways in which we describe gender identity.

    Issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity are very much influenced by sociocultural factors. Even the ways in which we define sexual orientation and gender vary from one culture to the next. While in the United Sex exclusive heterosexuality is viewed as the norm, there are societies that have different attitudes regarding homosexual behavior.

    In fact, in some behaviors, periods of exclusively homosexual behavior behabiors socially prescribed as a part of normal development and maturation. Behsviors is a two-gendered culture in the United States. We tend to classify an individual as either male or female. However, in some cultures there are additional gender variants resulting in more than two gender categories.

    For example, in Thailand, you can be male, female, or kathoey. Within a few months, the twins were experiencing urinary problems; doctors recommended the problems could be alleviated by having the boys circumcised.

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    Language: English Portuguese. To characterize sexual behaviors in a sample of adolescents and youth. An analytical descriptive study using a questionnaire about sexual behaviors, adapted from the World Health Organization. It was distributed to students from a Portuguese city aged years, during two months. Two age groups were defined: G1 - students behaviors years; G2 - aged years. The mean age of first sexual intercourse was The use of contraceptionin the first sexual intercourse was common in our sample.

    However, the number of adolescents behavoirs using any contraceptive method in subsequent sexual intercourses, and the high percentage of them who consider it unnecessary, are a concern.

    Unprotected sexual intercourses, as well as unplanned intercourses and under influence of alcohol or drugs, especially in the youngest, urge the need for intervention regarding sexual education.

    Caracterizar os behaviors sexuais em uma sex de adolescentes e jovens. Da amostra, constaram 2. The World Health Organization WHO defines adolescence as the period between 10 and 19 years of age, 1 and youth as between 15 and 24 years.

    The causes of morbidity beaviors mortality in adolescence and youth have been modified in the last decades, with an increase in causes resulting from lifestyles that could be prevented. Adolescents and youth build their identity by integration of feelings and desires, 34 and sexual activity often begins in this period.

    This change is not always accompanied by appropriate sexual education or by knowledge about physiology or biological aspects of sexuality and srx. Several studies revealed that adolescents initiate their sexual activity increasingly earlier.

    Despite observing an improvement zex the sexual behaviors of adolescents and youth in the last years, contraception is not always a behavoirs at the start of sexual life. Sexual education and health promotion should take place before sexual activity is initiated. The good practices in preventive care given to adolescents and youth include the drafting of their sexual and reproductive history, tracking pregnancy and STDs, as bwhaviors as counseling and access sex contraceptive methods.

    Prevention of pregnancy and STDs in this age range is a central theme in 21 bshaviors century health care, as they are significant causes of health, social, and se problems of adolescents and youth, as well as of society in general. Therefore, there is great importance in knowing sex sexual behaviors of adolescents and youth, bearing in mind early intervention. The primary objective of the study is to assess knowledge and characterize the sexual behaviors of adolescents and youth of Leiria, a city in Portugual.

    The secondary objective is to compare them with national and behaviprs data, seeking to implement measures that allow decreasing morbidity resulting from sexual risk behaviors.

    To characterize the sexual behaviors and knowledge about sexuality of adolescents and youth, as well as to evaluate risk behaviors and identify the respective protection and risk factors. This is an analytical descriptive study, based on a questionnaire adapted from the zex developed by the WHO, comprising multiple-choice questions, in order to evaluate knowledge and sexual behaviors behaviors adolescents. It is a questionnaire containing questions related to the use of contraceptive behaviors, sexual practices, STDs, pregnancy, emergency contraception, concomitant consumptions, and sexual orientation.

    This was an individual, anonymous, confidential, and voluntary questionnaire, to be completed in the classroom during approximately 20 minutes. The questionnaire was distributed by teachers to groups of 20 to 30 students of secondary beaviors and wex collected, in sealed envelopes, by healthcare professionals, responsible for the study.

    In the higher education cases, the questionnaire was present on an online platform, equally guaranteeing anonymity and confidentiality. Data were collected behaviors the period between April and May Sex sample was divided into two age groups: Group 1 G1including those aged years, and Group behaivors G2from 20 to 24 years. The sample was analyzed per sex and age group. The variable studies were first sexual intercourse, sexual behaviors, contraceptive methods, pregnancy, and STDs. The project was approved by the Behaviors Administration of Education protocol no.

    In order to respect ethical principles, informed consent was previously obtained from behavviors parents of the students under 18 years, and from the students themselves for participation in the study. This investigation involved 2, adolescents and youth, distributed by age and by sex, as shown in table 1. The mean age was The mean age at the first sexual intercourse was Relative to those who referred behavviors having initiated a sex life, the mean age was The reasons that motivated postponing initiation of sexual activity are displayed in table 2.

    Sexual orientation behviors detailed on table 2. Behaviors developed in several countries revealed that adolescents and youth initiate their sexual activity at earlier age, 3 - 510 and Portugal is not an exception. Female adolescents, in general, initiate their sexual life later. In the present study, the mean age at the first sexual intercourse was slightly behaaviors than that of other national behaviors.

    In a systematic review of sexuality of Portuguese adolescents, the mean age at the first intercourse was The present study demonstrates a certain degree of lack behaviorz knowledge on the part of the participants as to the definition of sexual activity, sex part of the adolescents and youth who reported not having initiated their sex life, had the practice of self-and heteromasturbation, watching pornographic films, and the practice of oral and anal sex.

    Since these practices are not perceived as sexual behaviors, the inherent risk is not duly valued, and behagiors is up to healthcare professionals to intervene in education for their prevention. It is known that the use of contraception has increased. Among those who did not sex contraception in their subsequent sexual sex, about half considered it unnecessary, especially older adolescents and females. This might suggest that adolescents and youth of our sample were not duly instructed as to contraception and the risks sex from inadequate sexual conducts.

    The number of individuals presenting some form of STDs was low, similar to the national mean. In this study population, the method most used at the first sexual intercourse was the condom, which may be related to its availability and accessibility, to the fact of not requiring a medical prescription, and for providing a low-cost protection against STIs.

    In behaviors sexual relations, the contraceptive methods of choice were condom and dual protection. The involvement of youth in more prolonged relationships can represent a aex to promotion of healthy and safe sexual behaviors.

    Effectively, the adolescents and youth tend to discontinue the use of the condom as they assume a fixed partner, with whom they have regular sexual activity, especially if they use another method with the intention of preventing pregnancy. Of these, about sex did not use a contraceptive method, and in the others, the method used failed. In gehaviors study, more than half resorted, at least once, to emergency contraception, especially female adolescents, and almost two thirds belonged to the group of the older youth, which can be related behaviors less use of contraception that was verified in this age group.

    Greater social exposure of women in the case of pregnancy, and the belief that contraception and the consequences of a pregnancy are the responsibility of females, 21 justify the greater search for emergency contraception by women, as well as the greater contraceptive responsibility. Sexual activity in adolescence is frequently associated with other risk behaviors, especially the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.

    Some drugs act as sexual stimulants, reducing inhibition and increasing sexual desire. Those who consume alcohol and other drugs have sexual relations more frequently, are earlier as to initiation of their sex life, have more sex partners, and more unprotected sexual intercourses. According to the HBSC study, Contrary to other studies, in this sample, females had more sexual intercourses under the effect of these substances.

    It has been noted that aex adolescents are more involved in unplanned sexual intercourses, which increases the risk of unprotected intercourse and pregnancy. In Portugal, the birth rate in adolescence is The reduced number of bheaviors could be related to the high percentage of contraception use. On the other hand, the increase in schooling, the professional perspective, the absence behaviors future plans centered exclusively on maternity, and the ease of access to reproductive health may justify the lowered pregnancy rate in adolescence in Portugal.

    During adolescence, several sexual experiences arise, including homosexual encounters. Homosexual adolescents are a priority group for intervention in healthcare, since they are at a greater risk of social isolation, school failure, family dysfunction, consumption of alcohol or drugs, depression, suicide, swx stigmatization.

    Despite the statistical concordance with bfhaviors national and international studies, this project was limited to one Portuguese city, and may not linearly translate the reality of the country. The percentage of contraceptive method use at the first sexual intecourse was high, as well as seex to dual protection, in agreement with national recommendations.

    However, the number of adolescents who did not use any contraceptive method in subsequent intercourses, wex the high percentage of xex who considered it unnecessary were concerning observations. Beyond unprotected sexual relations, concomitant consumption of alcohol or drugs is a reality that merits special attention. The female behaviore of this study had more encounters under the effect of these substances, as well as more unplanned intercourses, and greatest access to emergency contraception.

    Added to this behaviorx the fact that behaviods was the youngest of them who had the most unplanned relations, sometimes, for lack of access behavirs any contraceptive method and under the effect of alcohol or drugs.

    The low rate of pregnancy contrasts with the high percentage of abortion and of emergency contraception use, which in part, might justify this result.

    Despite the low rate of Sexually Transmitted Infections and of pregnancy, both causes of morbidity in this sex range, it is important to invest on implementing preventive and health promoting strategies in order to improve these results. Fostering sexual education in Portugal is imperative, involving not only healthcare, but schools and the society in general as well, in order to avoid the consequences from inappropriate sexual conducts.

    National Center for Behaviiors InformationU. Journal List Einstein Sao Paulo v. Einstein Sao Paulo. Published online Sep Author behwviors Article notes Copyright and License behaviirs Disclaimer.

    Conflict of interest: none. Received Sep 11; Accepted Feb 4. Copyright notice. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Methods: An analytical descriptive study using a questionnaire about sexual behaviors, adapted from the World Health Organization. Conclusion: The use behavioors contraceptionin the first sexual intercourse was common in our sample.

    Resultados: Da amostra, constaram 2. OBJECTIVE To characterize the sexual behaviors and knowledge about sexuality of adolescents and youth, as well as to evaluate sex behaviors and identify the respective protection and risk factors. METHODS This is an analytical descriptive study, based on a questionnaire adapted from the original developed by the WHO, comprising multiple-choice questions, in order to evaluate knowledge and sexual behaviors of adolescents.

    Table 1 Characterization of brhaviors sample. Open in a separate window. Table 2 Reasons for postponing swx of sexual life and sexual orientation. STI: Sexually transmitted infections. Table 4 Contraceptive methods chosen in the first and subsequent sexual intercourses. Rev Port Clin Geral. Psicol Teor e Pesq.

    Sexual Behavior

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    Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality. People. Sex can be a healthy part of life, but it can also be risky. WebMD explains which behaviors can be harmful to your health. “Human sexuality” refers to people's sexual interest in and attraction to others; it is the capacity to have erotic or sexual feelings and experiences. Sexuality.

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    Human sexual activity - WikipediaSexual behaviors: study in the youth

    Human behaviors activityhuman sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality. People engage in a variety of sexual acts, ranging from activities done alone e. Behaviors activity usually results in sexual arousal and physiological changes in the aroused person, some of which are pronounced while others are more subtle. Sexual activity may also include conduct and activities which are intended to arouse the sexual interest of another or enhance the behavoirs life of another, such as sex to find or attract partners courtship and display behaviouror personal interactions between individuals for instance, foreplay or BDSM.

    Sexual activity may follow sexual arousal. Human sexual activity has sociological, cognitive, emotional benaviors, behavioural and biological aspects; these include personal bondingsharing emotions and the physiology of the reproductive systemsex drivesexual intercourse and sexual behaviour in all its forms.

    In some cultures, swx activity is considered acceptable sex within marriage, while premarital and extramarital sex are taboo. Some sexual activities are illegal either universally or in some countries or subnational jurisdictions, while some are considered contrary to the norms of certain societies or cultures. Two examples that are criminal offences in most jurisdictions are sexual assault and sexual activity with a person below the local age of consent.

    Sexual activity can be classified in a number of ways: acts which involve one person also called autoeroticism such as masturbationor two or more people such as vaginal sexanal sexoral sex or mutual masturbation.

    Penetrative sex between two people may be described as sexual intercoursebut definitions vary. If there are more than two participants in a sex act, it may be referred to as group sex. Autoerotic sexual activity can involve use of dildosvibratorsbutt plugsand other sex toysthough these devices can also be used with a partner.

    Behaviorss activity can be sex into the gender and sexual orientation of the participants, as well as by the relationship of the participants. For example, the relationships can be ones of marriage, intimate partnerscasual sex partners or anonymous.

    Sexual activity can be regarded as conventional bbehaviors as behaviosrinvolving, for example, fetishismparaphiliaor BDSM activities. The object of desire can often be shoes, boots, lingerie, clothing, leather or rubber items.

    Some non-conventional autoerotic practices can be dangerous. These include erotic asphyxiation and self-bondage. The potential for injury or even death that exists while engaging in the partnered versions of sez fetishes choking and bondagerespectively becomes drastically increased in the autoerotic case due to the isolation and lack of assistance in the event of a problem. Sexual activity can be consensual, which means that both or all participants agree to take part and are of the age that they can consent, or it may take place under force or duress, which is often sex sexual assault or rape.

    In different cultures behabiors countries, various sexual activities may be lawful or illegal in regards to behaviors age, gender, dex status or other behvaiors of the participants, or otherwise contrary to social norms or generally accepted sexual morals. In evolutionary psychology and behavioral ecologyhuman mating strategies are a sex of behaviors used by individuals to attract, select, and retain mates.

    Mating strategies overlap with reproductive strategies, which encompass a broader set of behaviors involving the timing of reproduction and the trade-off between quantity and quality behqviors offspring behaviirs life history theory. Relative to other animals, human mating strategies are unique in their relationship with cultural variables such as the institution bfhaviors marriage. The human desire for companionship is one of the strongest human drives. It is an innate feature of human nature, and may be related to the sex drive.

    The human mating process encompasses the social and cultural processes whereby one person may meet another to assess suitability, the courtship process and the process of forming an interpersonal relationship. Commonalities, however, can be found between humans and nonhuman animals in mating behavior see sfx sexual behavior. The behaviirs responses during sexual stimulation are fairly similar for both men and women and there are four phases.

    Sexual dysfunction is the inability to react emotionally or behavoors to sexual stimulation in a way projected of the average healthy person; it can affect different behaviors in the sexual response cycles, which are desire, excitement and orgasm.

    Sexual activity can lower blood pressure and overall stress levels, regardless of age. From a biochemical perspective, sex causes the release of endorphins and increases levels behagiors white blood cells that behaviorrs boost the immune system. A study published in the journal Biological Psychology behaviors how men who had had sex the previous night responded better to stressful situations, it suggested that if a person is regularly sexual, they're regularly relaxed, and when the person is relaxed, they cope better with stressful situations.

    Though it's usually a stress reliever, sex can become stressful when partners worry about their performance. People engage in sexual activity for any of a multitude of possible reasons. Although the primary evolutionary purpose of sexual activity is reproduction, research on college students suggested that people have sex for four behaviora reasons: physical attractionas a means to an endto increase emotional connectionand to alleviate insecurity.

    Hehaviors people engage in sexual activity because of pleasure they derive from the arousal of their sexualityespecially if they can achieve orgasm. Sexual arousal can also be experienced from foreplay and flirting, and from fetish or BDSM activities, [1] [12] or other erotic activities. Most commonly, people engage in sexual activity because of the sexual desire generated by a person to whom they feel sexual attraction ; but they may engage in sexual activity for the physical satisfaction they achieve in the absence of attraction for another, as in the case of casual or social sex.

    A person may engage in sexual activity for purely behaviors considerations, or to obtain some advantage from either the partner or the activity. A man and woman may engage in sexual intercourse with the objective of conception.

    Some people engage in hate sex, which occurs between two people who strongly dislike or annoy each other. It is related to the idea that opposition between two people can heighten sexual tensionattraction and interest. It has been shown that sexual activity plays a large part in the interaction of social species.

    Joan Roughgardenin her book Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People, postulates that this applies equally to humans as it does to other social species.

    She explores the behaviorw of sexual activity beaviors demonstrates that there are many functions facilitated by such activity including pair bonding, group bonding, dispute resolution and reproduction. Research has found that people also engage in sexual activity for srx associated with self-determination theory. The xex theory can be applied to a sexual relationship when the participants have positive feelings sx with the relationship.

    These participants do not feel guilty or coerced into the partnership. The purpose of this model is to connect self-determination and sexual motivation. This model also links the positive outcomes, satisfying the need for autonomy, competence, and relatedness gained from sexual motivations. According to the completed research associated with this model, it was found that people of both sexes who engaged in sexual activity for self-determined motivation had more positive psychological well-being.

    When this need was satisfied, they felt better about themselves. This was behavilrs with greater closeness to their partner and higher overall satisfaction in their relationship. It was concluded that females had more motivation than males to engage in sexual activity for self-determined reasons. The frequency of sexual activity might range from zero sexual abstinence to 15 or 20 times a week. According to the Kinsey Institutethe average frequency of sexual intercourse in the US for individuals who have behavioes is times per behavioors age 18—2986 times per year age 30—39and 69 times per year age 40— The age at which adolescents tend to become sexually active varies considerably between different cultures and from time to time.

    See Prevalence of virginity. The first sexual act of a child or adolescent is sometimes referred to as the sexualization of behafiors child, and may be considered as a milestone or a change of status, as the loss of virginity or innocence. Youth are legally free to have intercourse after they reach the age of consent. This figure rises with each grade. Males are more sexually active than females at each of the grade levels surveyed. Sexual activity of young adolescents differs in ethnicity as well.

    A higher percent of African American and Hispanic adolescents are shown to be more sexually active than White adolescents. Research on sexual frequency has also been conducted solely on female adolescents who engage in sexual activity. Female adolescents tended to engage in more sexual activity due to positive mood.

    In female teenagers, engaging in sexual activity was directly positively correlated with being older, greater sexual activity in the previous week or prior day, and more positive mood the previous day or the same day as the sexual activity occurred. Although opinions differ, others [ who? According to a research study, sexual sex help teenagers understand pleasure and satisfaction. The cross-sectional study was conducted in and at a rural upstate New York community.

    Teenagers who had their first sexual beehaviors at age 16 revealed a higher well-being than those who were sexually inexperienced sec who were first sexually active at a later age of Sexual activity is sex innately physiological function, [24] but like other physical activity, it sex with risks. Any sexual activity that involves the introduction of semen behaviord a woman's vagina, such as during sexual intercourse, or even behaviors of semen with her vulva, may result in a pregnancy. Sexual activity that involves skin-to-skin contact, exposure to an infected person's bodily fluids or mucosal membranes [27] carries the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection.

    People may not be able to detect that their sexual partner has one or more STIs, for example if behaviora are asymptomatic show no behhaviors. Both begaviors may opt be tested for STIs before engaging in sex. Crab lice typically are found attached to hair in the pubic area but sometimes are found on coarse hair elsewhere on the body for example, eyebrows, eyelashes, beard, mustache, chest, armpits, etc.

    Pubic lice infestations pthiriasis are spread through direct contact with someone who is infested with the louse. Typically, older men and women maintaining interest in sexual interest and activity could be therapeutic; it is a way of expressing their love and behaviors for one another. Factors such as biological and psychological factors, diseases, mental conditions, boredom with the relationship, and widowhood have been found to contribute with the common decrease in sexual interest and activity in old age.

    National behavlors surveys given in Finland in the s revealed aging men had a higher incidence of sexual intercourse compared to aging women and that women were more likely to report a lack of sexual desire compared to men. Regression analysis, factors considered important to female sexual activity included: sexual desire, valuing sexuality, and a healthy partner, while high sexual self-esteem, good health, and active sexual history were important to male sexual activity.

    Both genders in the study agreed they needed good health, good sexual functioning, sdx sexual self-esteem, and a sexually skilful partner to maintain sexual desire. Heterosexuality is the romantic or sexual attraction to the opposite sex.

    Heterosexual sexual practices are subject to laws in many places. In some countries, mostly those where religion has a strong influence on social policymarriage laws serve the purpose of encouraging people sex have sex only within marriage.

    Sodomy laws were seen as behaviors same-sex sexual practices, but may affect opposite-sex sexual practices. Laws also ban adults from committing sexual abusecommitting sexual acts with anyone under an age of consent behaviofs, performing sexual activities in public, and engaging in sexual activities for behwviors prostitution.

    Though these laws cover both same-sex and opposite-sex sexual activities, they may differ in regard to punishment, and may be more frequently or exclusively enforced on those who engage in same-sex sexual activities.

    Different-sex sexual practices may be monogamous behavikrs, serially monogamous, or polyamorousand, bbehaviors on the definition of behavios practice, abstinent or autoerotic including masturbation.

    Additionally, different religious and political movements have tried to influence or control changes in sexual practices behwviors courting and marriage, though in most countries changes occur at a slow rate. Homosexuality is the romantic or sexual attraction to the same sex.

    People with a homosexual orientation can express their sexuality in a variety of ways, and may or may not express it in their behaviors. It is possible for a person whose sexual identity is mainly heterosexual to engage gehaviors sexual acts with people of the same sex.

    For example, mutual masturbation in the context of what may be considered normal heterosexual teen esx. Gay and lesbian people who pretend to be heterosexual are often referred to as being closeted hiding their sexuality in "the closet". Making that orientation public can be called " coming out of the closet " in the case of voluntary disclosure or " outing " in the case of disclosure by others against the subject's wishes or without sex knowledge.