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Teenage Boys Seek Intimacy And Close Relationship With Girls

Update Date: Jul 16, 2014 09:48 AM EDT

Teenage boys look for intimacy and sex in the context of a meaningful relationship and value trust in opposite sex, a new research has found. Findings of the research provide a snapshot of the developmental of masculine values in adolescence. 

For the study researchers considered 33 males, ages 14 to 16 years. They focused on gaining deeper understanding of their romantic and sexual relationships developed, progressed and ended. Researchers asked open-ended questions about relationships and sex such as desirable partner characteristics, intimacy, closeness and trust. 

"Prevailing values in our culture suggest adolescent males want sex, not relationships. However, values and behaviors related to sex and relationships are likely more complex than typically portrayed," first author David Bell, MD, MPH, assistant professor of Population and Family Health at the Mailman School of Public Health and assistant professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center, said in the press release. "In fact, very few of the participants described sex as the main goal of opposite-sex interactions and relationships."

These findings starkly contrast with descriptions of older, sexually experienced adolescent males, according to Dr. Bell, in which older adolescents consistently endorse the belief that relationships should be focused around sex, an avoidance of intimacy, and the treatment of females as sex objects, the press release added.

"Our sample was primarily lower-income African-American adolescent males and the results, while not generalizable, are transferrable to similar populations of adolescent males," added Dr. Bell. 

The findings of the research have been published online in the American Journal of Men's Health.

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