Sexual Development in Adolescence: An Examination of Genetic and Environmental Influences

D. Angus Clark, C. Emily Durbin, Mary M. Heitzeg, William G. Iacono, Matt McGue, Brian M. Hicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Sexual development entails many experiences and is a major feature of adolescence. Most relevant behavioral genetic studies, however, focus primarily on sexual behaviors associated with health risks. We took a more normative, developmental perspective by examining genetic and environmental influences on five sexual behaviors ranging from dating to pregnancy in middle (Mage = 14.90 years) and late adolescence (Mage = 17.85 years) in a sample of twins (N = 3,762). Overall, behaviors that are more common and socially sanctioned (e.g., dating) were more heritable than behaviors that are less common and socially acceptable (e.g., sexual intercourse). That the etiology of different sexual behaviors is tied to their normativeness highlights the importance of considering the broader developmental context when studying sexual development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

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Sexual Development
Sexual Behavior
adolescence
examination
Behavioral Genetics
Coitus
Pregnancy
etiology
health risk
Health
pregnancy
experience

Cite this

Sexual Development in Adolescence : An Examination of Genetic and Environmental Influences. / Clark, D. Angus; Durbin, C. Emily; Heitzeg, Mary M.; Iacono, William G.; McGue, Matt; Hicks, Brian M.

In: Journal of Research on Adolescence, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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