Adolescent Sexual Risk Behavior in Hong Kong: Prevalence, Protective Factors, and Sex Education Programs

Hildie Leung, Li Lin

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Although Hong Kong is considered to be a relatively westernized Chinese society, sex remains to be a subject that is rarely discussed openly. This article provided a brief overview on the prevalence of sexual behaviors and attitudes among adolescents in Hong Kong. Compared with the West, Hong Kong adolescents are less sexually active; however, increasing rates and more liberal sexual attitudes have been reported over the decades. These worrying trends have caused great concern and begged the question of occurrences and the effectiveness of sex education programs. Endeavor has been made to identify protective factors for reducing adolescent risky sexual behaviors and promoting sexual health from a strength-based perspective, such as the positive youth development (PYD) approach. However, to date, there is little synthesis of empirical evidence in the literature on the relations between PYD and adolescent sexual behaviors. We attempted to fill in this gap by outlining empirical evidence on the protective roles of PYD attributes in youth sexual outcomes. We reviewed local sex education programs and outlined several observations regarding foci, implementation, and evaluation. To conclude, we provided suggestions to inform practice in the future development and implementation of sex education programs to promote sexual health among youths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S52-S58
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • Chinese adolescents
  • Positive youth development
  • Risky sexual behavior
  • Sex education
  • Sexual health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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