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

Hildie LEUNG*, Li LIN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsReview articleOther Review

25 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
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Disclaimer: Publication of this article was supported by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The opinions or views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the funder.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine


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


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