The personal, local and global influences on youth sexual behaviors in a traditional society

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Most youth, including those living in traditional societies, have virtually unlimited access to information through global media. These technological advances of the past few decades and the unique situation of traditional societies did not exist when frameworks, such as the Human Ecological Systems Model, were designed. As a result, an adaptation of this framework, called the Galaxy Model (GM), was created to guide this study on youth sexuality in a traditional society. Using a community-based participatory approach and a cross-sectional design, this study examined the personal, local and global influences on sexual behavior and recruited 558 Palestinian-Israeli youth, ages 16–18 years old from five different high schools. The anonymized questionnaire only included measures approved by the study's community advisory board comprising representatives from the Palestinian-Israeli traditional society. Among youth, approximately 44 % reported sexual behaviors such as use of pornography, intimate physical contact, and sexual intercourse. Although the GM exhibited good model fit predicting sexual behavior (p < 0.001) for youth living in a traditional society, most variance was explained by the personal (e.g., self-esteem, religiosity) and local (e.g., family, school) influences, rather than by global influences (e.g., internet, cultural dissonance). Accordingly, culturally- and socially-appropriate services must be created for this population of youth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106947
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Globalization
  • Parent–child relationships
  • Sexual behaviors
  • Theory
  • Traditional society
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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