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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 222547 Find in a Library
Title: I Wanted To Get To Know Her Better: Adolescent Boys' Dating Motives, Masculinity Ideology, and Sexual Behavior
Journal: Journal of Adolescence  Volume:31  Issue:1  Dated:February 2008  Pages:17-32
Author(s): Andrew P. Smiler
Date Published: February 2008
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This study examined motives for dating among 105 racially and socioeconomically diverse 10th-grade boys.
Abstract: The findings indicate that the boys engaged in dating and romantic interactions with girls for a variety of reasons that were distinct from wanting to have sex with them. The most frequently mentioned reasons for dating pertained to wanting to know or experience positive interactions with the girl being dated, and sexual contact was viewed as an expression of an intimacy that developed over time. Thus, sexual contact was not the primary aim of dating a particular girl, but rather a behavior that emerged from the emotional and physical closeness that developed. A minority of the boys gave high priority to dating motives and behaviors that reflected masculine peer norms. The boys who dated primarily to conform with peer norms for dating and having sexual intercourse were less likely to value social interaction and emotional intimacy with the girls they dated. This suggests that social status among their masculine friends is an important motive for initiating dating and for sexual behaviors within the dating relationship. Peer conformity motives, however, were less often mentioned than other motives and typically co-occurred with other motives. The findings show the importance of resisting stereotypical and one-dimensional perspectives for why boys pursue dating interactions. The 105 boys (71 percent European-American, 22 percent Latino, and 7.6 percent African-American) were provided with a list of 11 possible reasons for dating and 10 possible reasons for engaging in sexual intercourse. The list was developed from existing research, interview data, journalistic accounts, and "brainstorming" sessions of the original research group. The instructions for completing the questionnaire made clear the boys could select multiple reasons. 5 tables and 54 references
Main Term(s): Adolescent males; Sexual behavior; Socialization
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Juvenile social adjustment; Juveniles; Peer influences on behavior
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