The physiology of adolescent sexual behaviour: a systematic review

Jan Pringle, John McAteer, Ruth Jepson, Sarah-Jayne Blakemore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To examine physiological influences of adolescent sexual behaviour, including associated psychosocial factors. Methods: Systematic review. Results: Thirteen studies met the inclusion criteria relating to adolescents, physiology and sexual behaviour. We excluded studies relating to abnormal development. Findings highlighted hormonal and gender differences. Females appear to be more influenced by psychosocial aspects, including the effects of peers, than males. Males may be more inclined to engage in unprotected sex with a greater number of partners. Early maturing adolescents are more likely to be sexually active at an early age. Conclusions: Hormonal, psychosocial context, and sexual preference need to be acknowledged in intervention development. Stage of readiness to receive information may differ according to gender and physiological maturity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
JournalCogent Social Sciences
Issue number1
Early online date20 Aug 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Aug 2017


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