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Gender and Cultural Factors in Risky Behavior Among Adolescents in the US and Asia

Intrinsic pressures together with socially acceptable gender norms play part in the differences that males and females differ in risky behaviors. This is also affected by the culture and one’s background (Park and Kim, 2010). When it comes to making decisions on risk behaviors, individuals from both America and Asia make different decisions whether as a group or an individual (Alison and Nolen, 2009).

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Data collected reveals that regardless of gender, American adolescents were willing to take greater risks when making decisions than their Asian counterparts. However, in Asia, gender differences play a major role when it comes to risky behaviors as males engage in more risky behaviors than females. These differences have been attributed to factors such as nature, culture, surroundings, and peer pressure (Elizabeth, 2009).

Since historical times, males were denoted as the stronger sex, it was expected of them that they should be the ones to engage in risky behaviors, and such males were praised. However, the situation is different with the female gender, any female who showed behaviors consistent with strength and lack of fear was shunned and looked down upon (Cepeda, and Valdez, 2008). With modernization, came the erosion of culture, and America became modernized and cosmopolitan. Therefore, differences in risk behaviors in Asian and American adolescents can be attributed to culture (Jean, 2008).

Risk attitudes are innate; each individual is born with a certain capability of engaging in risky behaviors (Cheryl, Lawrence, and Dorothy, 2008). The propensity to engage in risky behavior is inborn fueled by pressures to behave as per required gender norms. Nature plays a big part in training on such factors. In Asia, the girl child is brought up to be meek and humble and to respect men. In America however, we see that children are brought up quite freely without being forced to conform to certain gender roles or if present, it is to a very low extent. To this end, females in America could very easily engage in risky behaviors and decisions more than those in Asia (Sinead, Laura, Jessica, Ralph, Gina & Eve, 2010).

Adolescence is a very confusing period for anyone, this is a stage where one starts discovering themselves, and also, they try to form friendships with their peers. Friends are quite imperative at this stage and decisions one makes are greatly influenced by peers. Most adolescent offenders are usually involved in some sort of gang, risky or illegal activity (Aneesh & Patricia, 2008). This is especially evident in American adolescents. Peers affect decision-making when it comes to risky behaviors.

However, decisions made at the group level cannot be used for individual studies because they do not reflect the individuals’ behavior. Studies done on the effect of peer influence on decision-making in different genders showed that, in both continents, gender is not a factor. Both males and females in both continents easily engage in pro-risk choices when in a group than when alone. However, among Asian females, the rates were lower than in American females due to strong cultural values and severe punishment in Asia (Michelle, Srinivasan, Neeraj, Ajay, Rajesh, Paul, Arora & Prabhat, 2011).

The environment in which an individual grows is a chief factor when it comes to participating in risky behaviors and risky decisions (Wim and Inge, 2010). A study done in low-income urban communities in America and Asia brought researchers to the conclusion that adolescents tend to imitate what they see in their surroundings (Sarah, Julianna, Jacquelin, Marguerita, Maureen, and Sheri, 2012). Some of the adolescents saw some of these behaviors as being normal because they were acceptable in their respective communities. Juvenile offenders from low-income communities in American prisons could not comprehend what rule of law they had violated due to involvement in risky behaviors.

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References

Alison, B, and Nolen, P. (2009). “Gender Differences in Risk Behavior: Does Nurture Matter?” Australia National University and IZA (4026), 423-454.

Aneesh, T & Patricia, S. (2008). “Sexual Activity and Other Risk-Taking Behaviors among Asian-American Adolescents”. Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (20), 29-34.

Cepeda, A and Valdez, A. (2008). “Risk Behaviors among Young Mexican American Gang-Associated Females: Sexual Relations, Partying, Substance Use, and Crime”. Journal of Adolescent Research (18), 90-106.

Cheryl, O, Lawrence, K and Dorothy, W. (2008). “The Role of Violent Video Game Content in Adolescent Development: Boys’ Perspectives”. Journal of Adolescent Research (23), 55-75.

Elizabeth, D. (2009). “Sex Objects, Athletes and Sexy Athletes Can Impact Adolescent Girls and College Women.”.Journal of Adolescent Research (24), 399-422.

Jean, P. (2008). “The Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure: A New Scale for Use with Diverse Groups”. Journal of Adolescent Research (7), 156-179.

Kim, D, and Park, J. (2010). “Cultural Differences in Risk: The Facilitation Effect”. Judgment and Decision Making (5), 380-390.

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Michelle G, Srinivasan, V, Neeraj, D, Ajay, K, Rajesh, K, Paul, N, Arora, N & Prabhat, J. (2011). “Male Use of Female Sex Work in India: A Nationally Representative Behavioral Survey”. PLoS One (10): 345-390.

Sarah, K, Julianna, D, Jacquelin M, Marguerita, L, Maureen, L, and Sheri L. (2012). “Hopelessness and Sexual Risk Behavior Among Adolescent African American Males in a Low-Income Urban Community”. American Journal of Men’s Health (6), 440-473.

Sinead, Y, Laura, S, Jessica, S, Ralph, D, Gina, W & Eve, R. (2010). “Emotional Victimization and Sexual Risk-Taking Behaviors among Adolescent African American Women”. Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma (3), 79-94.

Wim, B, and Inge, S. (2010). “Does Identity Precede Intimacy? Testing Erikson’s Theory on Romantic Development in Emerging Adults of the 21st Century.” Journal of Adolescent Research (25), 387-415.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 16). Gender and Cultural Factors in Risky Behavior Among Adolescents in the US and Asia. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/gender-and-cultural-factors-in-risky-behavior-among-adolescents-in-the-us-and-asia/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 16). Gender and Cultural Factors in Risky Behavior Among Adolescents in the US and Asia. https://studycorgi.com/gender-and-cultural-factors-in-risky-behavior-among-adolescents-in-the-us-and-asia/

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"Gender and Cultural Factors in Risky Behavior Among Adolescents in the US and Asia." StudyCorgi, 16 Dec. 2021, studycorgi.com/gender-and-cultural-factors-in-risky-behavior-among-adolescents-in-the-us-and-asia/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Gender and Cultural Factors in Risky Behavior Among Adolescents in the US and Asia." December 16, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/gender-and-cultural-factors-in-risky-behavior-among-adolescents-in-the-us-and-asia/.


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StudyCorgi. "Gender and Cultural Factors in Risky Behavior Among Adolescents in the US and Asia." December 16, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/gender-and-cultural-factors-in-risky-behavior-among-adolescents-in-the-us-and-asia/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Gender and Cultural Factors in Risky Behavior Among Adolescents in the US and Asia." December 16, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/gender-and-cultural-factors-in-risky-behavior-among-adolescents-in-the-us-and-asia/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Gender and Cultural Factors in Risky Behavior Among Adolescents in the US and Asia'. 16 December.

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