Sexual risk taking among Taiwanese youth

Yeh Chao-Hsing*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

15 Scopus citations


The purpose of this grounded theory study was to understand sexual risk-taking behavior among Taiwanese youth. Thirty-six participants were purposively selected for two to three semistructured, in-depth individual interviews. The constant comparative method and coding process were used for data analysis. The core category of preserving the fantasy of romantic innocence emerged from the initial data analysis to explain how and why young people engage in sexual risk taking. Accordingly, the sub-categories of suppressing carnal knowledge and being swept away by love were developed. Suppressing carnal knowledge consisted of keeping silent, having an inadequate sexual education, and having stereotypical thinking and was identified as an explanation as to why young people cannot relate knowledge to actual practice. Being swept away by love included a false knowledge of one's sexual partner, shifting levels of intimacy, and nonacceptance of one's own sexuality. This conceptualization emphasizes the reasons why young people engage in sexual risk taking; that is, cultural reluctance to discuss sexuality openly. The implication of this theorizing is that interventions to reduce sexual risk taking should be done on an individual basis and should consider one's developmental context in order to increase one's skills in effectively discussing sex and sexuality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-75
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Sexual risk taking
  • Taiwan
  • Youth


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