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Taken from

Chapter 7 Sexuality Heterosexual Attitudes and Behaviors → Sexual Scripts

Sexual Scripts:

According to John Santrock, “A sexual script is a stereotyped pattern of role prescriptions for how individuals should behave sexually.” (p. 206)  When individuals reach adolescence they have been raised according to these sexual scripts.  Adolescent females are found to often find sexual activities to be associated with love more often then adolescent males.  It is also often found that males are making most of the sexual advances.  According to Santrock, “In one study, adolescent bys reported they expected sex and put pressure on girls to have sex with them, but said that hey do not force girls to have sex.”  Females are portrayed in a very specific way in modern media as Santrock writes, “In movies, magazines, and music, girls are often depicted as the object of someone else’s desire but rarely as someone who has acceptable sexual feelings of their own.”

In a national survey taken by the Kaiser Family Foundation the following are “often a reason” teenagers have sex.

· A boy or girl is pressuring them (61 percent of girls, 23percent of boys)

· They think they are ready (59 percent of boys, 51 percent girls)  

· They want to be loved (45 percent, 28 percent of boys)

· They don’t want to people to tease them for being a virgin (43 percent of boys, 38 percent of girls)

Examples of Sexual Scripts:


A teenage girl feels pressured to have sex by her friends and messages from the media.  She feels that by remaining a virgin her friends will make fun of her and she will be excluded.  She worries that by not behaving like the characters in movies and television that she watches she will become less attractive to the opposite she and will never experience the feeling of being loved.


An adolescent boy feels that he is no ready to become sexually active but is unwilling to lose respect from his peers when they discuss their experiences.  He becomes confused and debates whether he should just “get it over with” as his friends have suggested or wait until he believes that he is ready.