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Sexual Diversity: Sexuality and Male Adolescence

Updated/Revised Date: 19th Sep 2022
Author: Sexual Diversity | Contact:
Additional References: Male Adolescence Publications

Synopsis: Topics include male youth gender role, relationships with family and peers, experiences at school and community, health and safety concerns, and sexual decision making.


Male Adolescence

Adolescence is the transition period between childhood and adulthood (ages 10 to 19). Children who are entering adolescence are going through many changes (physical, intellectual, personality, and social developmental). In boys, it's hard to know exactly when puberty is coming. Some changes happen, but they occur slowly over some time rather than as a single event. The teen years bring many changes - not only physically but also mentally and socially. During these years, teens increase their ability to think abstractly, plan, and set long-term goals. Each child may progress at different rates and show a different worldview.

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Adolescence is the transitional stage of physical and psychological human development from puberty to legal adulthood (age of majority). The period of adolescence is most closely associated with the teenage years, though its physical, psychological, and cultural expressions may begin earlier and end later. Physical growth, as distinct from puberty (particularly in males), and cognitive development generally seen in adolescence, can also extend into the early twenties. Thus chronological age provides only a rough marker of adolescence. Sexuality diverse is a broad term used to include people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, pansexual, or questioning their sexuality.

Sexual orientation has been defined as "an erotic inclination toward people of one or more genders, most often described as sexual or erotic attractions". In terms of sexual identity, adolescence is when most gay/lesbian and transgender adolescents begin to recognize and make sense of their feelings. Many adolescents may choose to come out during this period of their life once an identity has been formed; many others may go through a period of questioning or denial, including experimentation with homosexual and heterosexual experiences. A study of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths under age 21 found that awareness of one's sexual orientation occurred, on average, around age 10. Still, coming out to peers and adults occurred around age 16 and 17.

Gender diverse boys (also known as gender non-conforming, gender creative, or gender variant) express their gender in ways that are not consistent with socially prescribed gender roles or identities. Their preferences for toys, clothing, sports, activities, playmates, hair length and style, and/or accessories are not expected in the culture based on their sex assigned at birth. Gender-diverse boys are usually perceived to be feminine boys. Some gender-diverse boys may occasionally talk about wanting to be or wishing they were the other gender or saying they are the other gender.

Transgender boys typically consistently, persistently, and insistently express a cross-gender identity and feel that their gender is different from their assigned sex. They may begin talking about their gender as soon as they begin to speak, and some may express dissatisfaction with their genitals. Transgender boys are more likely to experience gender dysphoria (i.e., discomfort related to their bodies not matching their internal sense of gender) than gender-diverse children. However, some transgender boys are comfortable with their bodies. Transgender boys may state that they are the other gender

A 2002 American study found that those aged 15 to 44 reported that the average age of first sexual intercourse was 17.0 for males and 17.3 for females. Many cultures define the transition into adultlike sexuality by specific biological or social milestones in an adolescent's life. For example, menarche (the first menstrual period of a female) or semenarche (the first ejaculation of a male) are frequent sexual defining points for many cultures.

Teenagers who have suffered from abuse are more likely to exhibit depressive symptoms and low self-esteem. They are also more likely to suffer episodic or chronic depression, posttraumatic stress syndrome, and other mental health disorders. These patterns are also more likely to continue into adulthood, often in a series of abusive relationships (The Commonwealth Fund, 1999).

Over the last ten years, we have seen a growing international consensus on the need to include adolescent boys and young men more in reproductive and sexual health initiatives. However, anecdotal reports from settings around the world suggest that existing sex education programs frequently are not seen as interesting or relevant to adolescent boys and young men. Most sex education programs focus on reproduction and contraception. Yet, adolescent boys frequently say they want to know about or discuss masturbation, penis size, sexual relations and their various forms, sexual performance, and female sexuality.

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Latest Male Adolescence Publications

The above information is from our reference library of material relating to Male Adolescence that includes:

Teen Boys Uncertain About Sexual Consent and Culture thumbnail image.
Article explores how boys are being taught about consent at school and how they relate to and interpret educational messages about consent.
Publish Date: 30th Nov 2022 - Updated: 5th Jan 2023
Male at Birth Sexual and Gender Minorities Have Higher Odds of Partner Violence thumbnail image.
Young bisexual, transgender and low-income individuals are most at risk of psychological and physical victimization.
Publish Date: 14th Oct 2022 - Updated: 5th Jan 2023
When Doctors Ask if You Want to Circumcise Your Baby Boy thumbnail image.
Online reference includes guide and advice on how to talk to your doctor, and possible benefits, harms, and risks from circumcision.
Publish Date: 15th Sep 2017
Circumcision Survey Reveals Long-Term Harm and Human Rights Violations thumbnail image.
Survey of males circumcised at birth documents adverse adult outcomes and reveals considerable dissatisfaction and resentment about genital modification.
Publish Date: 2nd Mar 2017
Puberty Timing in Males Study thumbnail image.
A new study reveals strong genetic correlation between adolescent male and female puberty timing.
Publish Date: 10th Nov 2015

1How Many Genders Are There?
Alphabetical list of gender identities.

2Transgender Reporting Guide
How to write about transgender people.

3Glossary of Sexuality Terms
Definitions of sexual terms & acronyms.

4Glossary of Sexual Identities
Definitions of gender related terms.

5Am I Gay? Questions to Ask
Think you may be gay or bisexual?

• Submissions: Send us your coming events and LGBTQ related news stories.

• Report Errors: Please report outdated or inaccurate information to us.

• (APA): (2022, September 19). Sexual Diversity: Sexuality and Male Adolescence. Retrieved April 12, 2024 from

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