Gender, sexual behaviour and vulnerability among young people

This chapter illustrates how gender represents a complex interplay of contextual and individual factors, which create advantages and disadvantages for both young women and young men in terms of sexuality and related health issues. It applies an ecological model to emphasize how gender norms, as they relate to sexual behavior, are internalized by the individual through an interaction of factors including cognitive processes, relationships with family, peer groups, intimate partners, and access to and quality of available social supports, services, and policies. Based on this discussion, it also highlights examples of how programs can successfully operationalize strategies that address gender and identify some promising program directions.

In Ingham R, Aggleton P (eds) Promoting young people’s sexual health. London, Routledge, 61-78, 2005.