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adolescent girls, self-concept, sexual behavior



  1. Pai, Hsiang-Chu
  2. Lee, Sheuan
  3. Chang, Ting


Background: People begin to become aware of their sexual drive and erotic feelings as young adolescents. Such activity often has been overlooked in Taiwan, a traditional society, because sexuality is viewed as a private issue.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to explore the sexual self-concept and intended sexual behavior of young adolescent girls in Taiwan.


Methods: Participants included 372 girls, 12 to 14 years old, from junior high schools in Taiwan who completed two questionnaires on sexual experience and sexually related items: the Sexual Self-Concept Inventory, the Parental Approval of Sexual Behavior Scale, and the Friends' Approval of Sexual Behavior Scale, which were combined into one scale, with separate scores.


Results: Girls' self-reports showed low (negative) sexual self-concept, high perceived parental disapproval, and somewhat high perceived friends' disapproval of sexual activities. Sexual self-concept is associated with perceived parental and peer approval of sexual activities, and it is associated with sexual experience and intended sexual activities as well. A young adolescent girl who has a high score on the perceived sexual arousability factor of the Sexual Self-Concept Inventory is more likely to report the strongest intention toward sexual behavior.


Discussion: Sexual self-concept may play a key role in girls' intended sexual activities, including engaging in low-level sexual activities (e.g., kissing and breast fondling) that occur before intercourse, even when associated with intercourse intention. The research suggests that addressing sexual self-concept needs to be a priority to prevent young girls from engaging in sexual intercourse.