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Teenage Boys More Vulnerable And Emotionally Engaged In Romantic Relationships

Contradictory to the belief that adolescent boys tend to take romance for a ride, a new study has found that when it comes to heart matters, they might not be so fleeting after all. //Although the feelings are sincere than what is seen outside, an adolescent boy fails to communicate his emotions, leading to a gross misunderstanding in his girl friend’s mind.

Boys are more vulnerable and emotionally engaged in romantic relationships than previously thought, according to the Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study led by Drs. Peggy Giordano, Monica Longmore and Wendy Manning of Bowling Green State University (BGSU).

Also contrary to traditional belief, girls in the study, on average, scored higher than their male romantic partners in terms of decision-making power. The sociologists' findings appear in the April issue of American Sociological Review, the flagship journal of the American Sociological Association.

‘These early relationships matter for boys, as well as for girls, and even though they may not last forever, the young people are taking important lessons from them about how to conduct social relationships, and about themselves and their emerging identities,’ said Giordano, a Distinguished Research Professor of sociology at BGSU.

‘They (teen romantic relationships) really have important socializing influences,’ added Longmore, a professor of sociology.

Early dating experiences have been a relatively neglected subject of study, according to the BGSU researchers. That's due to assumptions that such relationships are short-lived and shallow, and therefore not very influential, Giordano explained. The focus has been almost exclusively on sexual behavior rather than on the relationship itself, she said.

More is known about adolescent influences from parents and peers, with whom romantic partners are often lumped, Longmore noted.

But the study, supported by funding from the National In
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