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A new conceptual approach to adolescent sexuality/sexual health: an evidence based critique of Stanley Hall’s theory (Spanish)

A new conceptual approach to adolescent sexuality/sexual health: an evidence based critique of Stanley Hall’s theory (Spanish)

Objective: To test adolescent sexual health approaches based on abstinence and sublimation theory with data on sexuality and sexual behavior from a sample of high school students in Santander State, Colombia South America. Methods: This study included a selected review of the literature on adolescent sexuality theories and a cross-sectional study using a structured questionnaire with Colombian high school students aged 14–18 years.

Results: The literature review showed that the “abstinence” approach proposed by Stanley hall has prevailed for over a century despite the recurring calls to recognize sexual desire and pleasure as primary components of adolescent sexuality. 1677 high school students with a median age of 16 years old were surveyed. Data on prevalence of sexual behaviors, age of first sexual experiences, reasons for sexual initiation, and variables of interest in adolescent sexual health determined that although there are important gender differences, sexual interest and exploration are common to most adolescents.

Conclusion: Normal sexual development during adolescence includes a variety of sexual activities not limited to vaginal intercourse. From a public health perspective the old approach to adolescence as a period of sexual repression and sublimation should be replaced by a new one in which sexual desire and sexual pleasure are considered basic dimensions that must not be ignored when planning sexual health education programs for youth.

Areas of Interest / Categories: WAS 2013

WAS 2013

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