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Billy, John O. G.; Brewster, Karin L.; & Grady, William R. (1994). Contextual Effects on the Sexual Behavior of Adolescent Women. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 56, 387-404.


The present study contributes to the literature that explores the implications of contextual factors for adolescent fertility by examining the effects of community context on the likelihood of experiencing sexual intercourse and on two aspects of sexual behavior subsequent to first intercourse: intercourse consistency and frequency. We use a multilevel strategy incorporating aggregate- and individual-level data for nationally representative samples of 566 black and 1,286 non-black adolescent women to test hypotheses about a wide range of community characteristics. Our results suggest that the likelihood of first intercourse and subsequent sexual behavior among teens of both races are shaped by a number of community characteristics, including social disorganization, socioeconomic status, religiosity, female labor force participation, population composition, and family planning service availability.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Marriage and the Family


Billy, John O. G.
Brewster, Karin L.
Grady, William R.