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Sexual Attitudes

Sexual attitudes are a person’s beliefs about sexuality, which include their positive and negative evaluations of many aspects of sexual behavior and experience. Individuals can hold general attitudes about sexuality (i.e., sex-positive or sex-negative views of intimacy and relationships) and also specific positive or negative attitudes about individual sex-related topics, such as gender/gender roles, sexual identity, contraception, sexually transmitted infections (STIs)/HIV, and sexual behaviors. This entry highlights several sexual attitudes that are salient during the life-span phases of childhood, early to mid-adolescence, late adolescence to young adulthood, and mid to later adulthood. Because of the strong influence of cultural context on sexual attitudes, sexual attitudes often differ across countries and cultural groups. Thus, while this entry provides a broad overview, it is important to ...

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