Perceptions of Adolescents' Adulthood Entry and Sexual Initiation in Nordic Countries

English title: Perceptions of Adolescents' Adulthood Entry and Sexual Initiation in Nordic Countries

Author(s): Pekka Räsänen -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2009


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine public opinions about the timing of adolescents' adulthood entrance and sexual debut in four Nordic countries. The research questions concern the appropriate ages when young people become adults and when young people are old enough to engage in sexual activities. Design/methodology/approach – The data utilised are derived from the Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish sections of the third European Social Survey (n = 7,078) conducted in 2006. By comparing the ages reported for boys and girls, the paper focuses on the disparities of responses between population groups. Findings – The results reveal that there are notable differences in the appropriate ages reported for girls and boys. There is also variation in the responses by country. However, socio-demographic information can predict respondents' opinions only partially. Research limitations/implications – The analysis is based on cross-sectional data. Subjective measures are used as the dependent and independent variables. Originality/value – The results reveal interesting tensions in the Nordic welfare societies regarding people's perceptions of adulthood entrance. It is discussed to what degree the observations regarding the appropriate timing of adulthood entry and coital initiation may underline culturally defined stereotypes between sexes.

Volume: 29

Issue: 7

From page no: 401

To page no: 413

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1108/01443330910975704

Journal: International journal of sociology and social policy

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