FIGURE 9-4. Conceptual model of biological dimension of adolescent sexual behavior.

FIGURE 9-4Conceptual model of biological dimension of adolescent sexual behavior

NOTE: This figure proposes a two-dimensional model of biological influences on the onset of sexual behavior among adolescent males. Increasing levels of testosterone are known to promote sexual behavior in adolescent males through two separate pathways: by increasing secondary sexual characteristics, which are a sign of social maturity, and through libido, which plays a role in sexual initiation. On the other hand, individual variation in cortisol has been related to problem behavior that is known to be related to adolescent sexual behavior. Initiative in sexual behavior is seen here as a form of risk taking. Together sexual opportunity and sexual initiation result in sexual behavior. The role of DHEA/S in sexual behavior is largely unknown. However, it may have direct effects on the disinhibition of social behavior. In addition, DHEA/S antiglucocorticoid actions may reduce the inhibiting effects of cortisol on behavior.

From: 9, Pubertal Maturation, Adrenarche, and the Onset of Reproduction in Human Males

Cover of Offspring
Offspring: Human Fertility Behavior in Biodemographic Perspective.
National Research Council (US) Panel for the Workshop on the Biodemography of Fertility and Family Behavior; Wachter KW, Bulatao RA, editors.
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2003.
Copyright © 2003, National Academy of Sciences.

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