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Teenage Boys Want Intimacy, Not Just Sex, Survey Finds
Date:7/24/2014

By
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The stereotype of the sex-crazed teenage boy may be dead wrong, according to a small study that asked boys what they really want from romantic relationships.

In interviews with 33 boys between the ages of 14 and 16, researchers found that most said they wanted a relationship with a girl for the closeness and trust. Very few boasted about sexual conquests or saw sex as a "main goal" in starting a relationship with a girl.

"In our culture, we have lots of assumptions about how guys behave," said lead researcher Dr. David Bell, of Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.

"What this study tells us is young adolescents want intimacy and trust in a relationship, even though the culture is telling us they just want sex," said Bell, who reported the findings recently in the American Journal of Men's Health.

The results are based on a small number of boys, mostly black and all recruited from an urban health clinic that serves low-income teens. But Bell said other studies have come to similar conclusions about boys from other ethnic groups -- at least those in their early teens.

Older teenagers are a different story, research suggests. By then, young men often take on more of the stereotypical male attitudes toward women and romantic relationships.

"Older guys tend to describe a desire to 'get as many women as they can,'" Bell said. "Our findings would suggest that maybe they weren't always like that."

The question is, what happens as boys grow older? There were some hints from the relatively older boys in this study, Bell said. In talking about past breakups, some of the boys described "being burned" -- and then used that as an excuse to remain emotionally distant in future r
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