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Biological Predispositions and Social Control in Adolescent Sexual Behavior


Udry, J. Richard (1988). Biological Predispositions and Social Control in Adolescent Sexual Behavior. American Sociological Review, 53, 709-722.


This paper develops biosocial models of adolescent sexuality that combine traditional sociological models with models derived from a biological theory of hormone effects. Data are presented from a representative sample of 102 males and 99 females, drawn from grades 8, 9, and 10 in public schools in a southern U.S. city, and ranging in age from 13 to 16 years old. Although the sociological models alone look quite satisfactory, the combined models are stronger and give a different picture of the determinants of adolescent sexuality. The combined models show not only additive contributions of sociological and biological variables, but interactions between sociological and hormonal variables. Some sociological relationships are shown to be spurious. In other cases, sociological predictors are shown to be endogenous to biological predictors.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

American Sociological Review


Udry, J. Richard