SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Prior to the present study, the proposal by sexual socialization theorists that there is a relationship between gender stereotyping and adolescent sexual behavior had never been empirically tested. The purposes of this paper were (a) to test the relationship between gender stereotyping and adolescent sexual behavior and (b) to determine the direction and temporality of the relationship. Panel data from a probability sample of 1,607 black and white adolescents were used. The findings indicate a relationship between female stereotyping and sexual behavior for female but not for male adolescents. Interaction analyses indicate that the strength, direction, and temporality of the relationship varies by age, race, mother's education, and the number of hours the mother is employed. In general, females with traditional female stereotypes were more likely to begin having sexual intercourse earlier than those with nontraditional stereotypes. These findings are discussed in the context of societal encouragement of traditional female stereotyping.