Teenage Girls Caught in a Dilemma over Having Sex

The Birmingham Post (England), June 27, 1998 | Go to article overview

Teenage Girls Caught in a Dilemma over Having Sex


Teenage girls see sex as part of growing up - but do not want to be branded permissive, researchers told a Birmingham conference.

The study by two psychologists also revealed that girls who used sex to prove they were adults were condemned by their contemporaries as immature.

The research involved dozens of young women in East London and highlighted the dilemmas faced by young girls caught between pressure from their boyfriends and disapproval from parents.

The findings were revealed yesterday at the Women and Psychology Conference at Birmingham University by Dr Harriette Marshall, now a lecturer at Staffordshire University, and Dr Anne Woollett, of the University of East London.

More than 150 psychologists, mainly women, have gathered for the controversial three-day conference organised by the Women's Section of the British Psychological Society and the Alliance of Women in Psychology. There is no equivalent men's conference and opening sessions concentrated on issues such as lesbian sexuality. But the organisers say women's psychology was neglected for decades and it is important to understand how women react to illness, health treatment, sex and pressure at work.

Dr Woollett said that in the teenage years female sexuality was tied up with the desire for independence and for girls to be allowed to take responsibility for their own lives. …

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