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Leisure Activities and Adolescent Sexual Behaviour

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The shortage of previous research acknowledging the relevance and possible influences of social environments on adolescent sexual behaviour was addressed in this study. The influence of leisure time activities on sexual behaviour was investigated in a questionnaire survey of 212 UK adolescents. The majority of respondents were white, and aged between 11 and 19. Significant differences in leisure activities were found between boys and girls; girls read more books and magazines, and watched more television than boys, who spent more time participating in sport, in amusement arcades and around the streets. Analyses disclosed a decreased likelihood of participating in sexual and other risky behaviours if leisure time is spent with the family or going to church, irrespective of age. Other leisure environments, such as visiting alcohol-serving pubs, were predictive of having sex, although risk-taking behaviour in general and age were the predominant predictors of having had sex. The data therefore provide some support for the ecological model attributing sexual and other risk-taking behaviours to particular adolescent social environments in the population studied here.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2001

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