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The Vox Box

Thu., Feb. 28, 2008, 11:47 a.m.

Inside the mind of the dating teenage boy

You've all watched the "American Pie" movies and are aware of the stereotypes. Boys are just after "one thing..."

However, according to a new report in The Journal of Adolescence, we might not be giving boys enough credit.

Psychology researchers from the State University of New York at Oswego recently examined data collected from 105 10th-grade boys, average age 16, who answered questions about a number of health behaviors. In questions put to them about girls (most of the boys self-identified as heterosexual), the teenagers were asked to note their reasons for pursuing a relationship. The top answer, marked by 80 percent of the boys? “I really liked the person.”

Physical attraction and wanting to get to know someone better were tied as the second-most-popular answers. Boys who were sexually active were as likely to say they pursued sex out of love as they were to say they simply wanted to know what sex feels like or to satisfy a physical desire. Wanting to lose their virginity barely registered, with just 14 percent of boys checking that answer.

Researchers said the findings show that teenage boys really are motivated by love and a desire for meaningful relationships.

But many people still don’t buy it, including, it seems, many former teenage boys.

“Based on my past experience as a teenage boy, this study just reinforces my view that teenage boys are horny liars,” wrote John, one of about 170 people who submitted comments about the study to The Times’s Well blog last week. Full article...

I sprayed soda on my keyboard laughing when I read that comment...

“This is only a surprise to women,” wrote Brad, another reader of the Well blog. “Any male knows that he was desperately in love at 15 in a way he never would be again.”

QUESTION: Boys, what do you think of the survey? Are you all a bunch of horny liars? Or are you the sensitive young men "Brad" describes?

Girls: What is your experience?

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In 2006, then-editor Steve Smith of The Spokesman-Review had the idea of starting a publication for an often forgotten audience: teenagers. The Vox Box was a continuation of the Vox, an all-student staffed newspaper published by The Spokesman-Review. High school student journalists who staffed the Vox made all content decisions as they learn about the trade of journalism. This blog's mission was to give students an opportunity to publish their voices. The Vox Box and the Vox wrapped up in June 2009, but you can follow former staffers' new blog at