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Sex for LifeFrom Virginity to Viagra, How Sexuality Changes Throughout Our Lives$
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Laura Carpenter and John DeLamater

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814772522

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814772522.001.0001

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Sexuality Development in Adolescence

Sexuality Development in Adolescence

(p.70) 3 Sexuality Development in Adolescence
Sex for Life

Stephen T. Russell

Kali S. Van Campen

Joel A. Muraco

NYU Press

This chapter explores the complicated pathways along which homosexual and heterosexual identities develop during adolescence. Adolescence is characterized by dramatic developmental changes entailing not only the physical changes of puberty but also the cognitive capacities that enable young people to understand and analyze interpersonal relations and social institutions, including cultural meanings of sexuality. During this life stage, the ways that societies view sexuality in general—and adolescent sexuality in particular—enable and constrain young people's sexual development. These opportunities and constraints are further contingent on social statuses, including gender, race, ethnicity, social class, and sexual orientation. Given the sexual trajectories available during this life stage, sexuality development in adolescence sets the stage for expressions of sexuality throughout the rest of the life course.

Keywords:   adolescent sexuality, puberty, sexual development, sexual orientation, sexual trajectories

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