According to a new study, teenage boys have more than sex on their mind. It turns out that adolescent males actually do desire the intimacy of a relationship over sex.
The study was published in the American Journal of Men’s Health, and is based on interviews with 33 14 to 16-year-old boys.
Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health interviewed young men recruited from a clinic for low-income, Medicaid-eligible, predominantly African American adolescents who lose their virginity at an earlier age than the national average. The researchers intentionally focused on this single demographic because African American males, according to previous studies, are more likely than white or Latino males to value “masculine norms” such as sexual aggression, a preoccupation with self-satisfaction and objectification of women. What the researchers found was that these young men whom society would assume to be most likely to value these masculine norms, sought intimacy above all else.
Sixteen of the boys were sexually experienced, and four tested positive for sexually transmitted diseases. Very few participants said sex was the main goal in a relationship.
The study debunks societal prejudices about how black males think and feel. In fact, many of the boys criticized treating sex and relationships as if they were a game.
Hopefully this and other studies that continue to dispel stereotypes that black men are sex-craved individuals get the attention they need. Black men and boys have a right to experience intimacy on all levels.
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