Sexuality and Adolescence

Elizabeth Schroeder

In: The SAGE Encyclopedia of Psychology and Gender

Sexuality and Adolescence

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  • Sexuality is a widely used yet frequently misunderstood word. Some people confuse “sexuality” with “sexual orientation,” or the gender or genders of the people to whom one is attracted, physically and romantically. Sexual orientation is a part of sexuality, but they are not the same thing. Sexuality is a far more complex concept that involves physical, social, and emotional aspects, some of which have nothing to do with sexual behaviors.

    Adolescents make up approximately 15% (nearly 45 million) of the U.S. population. Adolescence is a stage with three phases: (1) early, (2) middle, and (3) late. Different sources have slight variations on what constitutes each stage; for the purposes of this entry, early adolescence refers to ages 11 to 14 years, middle adolescence refers to ages ...

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