Despite numerous studies on the myriad of psychosocial factors that affect youthful offenders, research on gender differences with respect to risky sexual behavior are limited. Using data on juvenile offenders in a residential facility, we analyzed impact of gender on sexual behavior (N = 227). Girls reported higher likelihood of diagnosis with sexually transmitted diseases, and injecting drug use including heroin and cocaine than boys. Multivariate analysis indicated that number of sexual partners, childhood trauma, and services received from emergency shelter and psychiatric settings were associated with risky sexual behavior. Discouraging, abusive and dysfunctional home environment with little support from parents/caregivers, or teachers, priests/religious leaders appear to dispose youth to a life of risky sex, drugs and delinquency.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science