Sociosexual Development of Preadolescents

  • Ouida E. Westney
  • Renee R. Jenkins
  • Constance A. Benjamin


Preadolescence is not a latent period but an active one, both biologically and socially. This span, from roughly 9 to 12 years of age, is characterized by progression in both sexual maturation and sociosexual interaction. Biologically, the early signs of the progression of sexual maturation toward the adult state occur in a somewhat predictable sequence (Tanner, 1978). However, the timing of these sequential events spans a broad normative range. Socially, it is a time span during which same- and opposite-sex peers enhance and solidify sex-role learning (Goldberg and Deutsch, 1977), and much clearer indications of sociosexual awareness begin to emerge (see Hill and Lynch, Chapter 10). The impact of the biological changes on the social changes has been the focus of considerable speculation and is being studied intensively by social and behavioral scientists.


Sexual Behavior Sexual Maturation Black Girl Adolescent Sexual Behavior Sexual Socialization 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ouida E. Westney
    • 1
  • Renee R. Jenkins
    • 2
  • Constance A. Benjamin
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Human Development, School of Human EcologyHoward UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, College of MedicineHoward UniversityUSA

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