Adolescent Experiences of Sexuality: Theoretical Considerations

Ilona Kajokienė, Rita Žukauskienė

Abstract


Research subject: experiences of sexuality in adolescence. Study objectives: We aim to conduct a critical analysis of the concept of sexuality in relation to other similar concepts (gender identity, sexual identity subjectivity) often used in the studies of human sexuality. This article aims to reflect on heterogeneous theoretical literature in order to understand what is behind human sexual behavior. All theoretical considerations are mainly grounded in a special focus of experience of sexuality in adolescence. Method: we applied a theoretical method of analysis, that is, the comparative analysis of scientific literature, as well as the comparison, generalization and interpretation of available empirical data. Results and conclusions: Based on a critical analysis of existing literature, we can conclude that human (and especially, teenage) sexuality cannot be equated solely with sexual behavior. We state that the observed behavior is just one option of expressing more general personal sexual identity. Sexual identity gives individually meaningful context to a diverse variety of teenagers’ practical experiences. A problem-oriented approach and risk assessment limits the whole aspect of teenage sexual experience. New conceptualization of sexuality as a developmental phenomenon in adolescence has emerged, which emphasizes the expected, normative and positive side of teen sexuality.

Keywords


sexuality; sexual identity; gender identity; sexual behavior

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789