Adolescent oral sex, peer popularity, and perceptions of best friends' sexual behavior.
OBJECTIVE: To provided initial descriptive information regarding adolescents' engagement in oral sex and to investigate adolescents' perceptions of their best friends' sexual behavior and peer-reported popularity as two social mechanisms that may influence engagement in oral sex. METHODS: A total of 212 tenth graders reported their engagement in oral sex and intercourse, number of sexual partners, and use of sexually transmitted infection (STI) protection, as well as perceptions of their best friends' sexual behaviors. Sociometric assessment yielded peer-reported measures of adolescents' preference- and reputation-based popularity. RESULTS: Adolescents were more likely to report engagement in oral sex than intercourse, report more oral sex partners than intercourse partners, and were unlikely to report use of STI protection during oral sex. Perceptions of best friends' behavior were significantly associated with adolescents' own oral sex behavior, but not intercourse. Adolescents who reported sexual activity had high levels of reputation-based popularity, but not likeability among peers; however, sex with more partners was associated with lower levels of popularity. CONCLUSIONS: Implications for prevention programs are discussed.
Prinstein, MJ; Meade, CS; Cohen, GL
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