Adolescent sexual decision making is a very complex phenomenon. It is a time when individuals may become interested in more intimate relationships and experimentation. During this stage, adolescents may contemplate whether to engage in intercourse or abstain from sexual relations. Many factors may influence an adolescent’s sexual decision making including biological, social, cultural, familial, and experiential factors. Making good decisions and responsible choices about sexual activity during adolescence can have immediate and lasting implications on an individual’s overall health outcomes. For this reason, it is important for social workers to possess an understanding of the context of decision making and social influences as well as educate adolescents on appropriate support programs available to them.

For this Discussion, you explore the contemporary influences on adolescent sexual decision making.


Required Readings

To prepare: Find one example of an influence on adolescent sexual decision making in contemporary society that is directed at adolescent audiences. Examples may include websites, magazines, music, film, television, or advertising.


  • Explain how a contemporary influence makes either a positive or a negative contribution to peer influence on adolescent sexual decision making.
  • Analyze risk factors associated with the contemporary influences you have chosen.