FeedbackSearchLoginFeedbackSearchLoginMaking a Decision
 Home > Freshman Year > Your Health 4 > Making a Decision
Student Tools
Weekly Study Tips
Power Google
Weekly Update

Freshman Year

Sophomore Year

Junior Year

Senior Experience


Research Center

Sound Advice

New York Times

Making a Decision

Making a Decision

The decision to have sexual intercourse is a major one. Many factors affect this decision, and many factors will be affected by it. People engage in sexual activity for a variety of reasons that are often unrelated to love and often without regard to the consequences of that behavior.


Listed below are factors that may influence your decision to engage in sexual activity. Rank each of these factors as to how they affect your behavior now and when you are in a situation in which you have to make a decision. This activity is not handed in, so answer as truthfully as possible.

  Not Important Slightly Important Important Very Important Extremely Important
Risk of Aids          
Risk of other STD          
Risk of pregnancy          
Sexual history of partner          
Partner not an IV drug user          
Biological gratification (physical sensations)          
Need for money          
Desire to be accepted by partner/cultural group          
Dissipation of stress or to get mind off other problems          
Intense need to feel loved/cared for          
Sign of commitment in a relationship          
Expression of love for partner          
Monogamous relationship          
Desire for a variety of partners          
Evidence of desirability          
Proof of sexual prowess          

In examining your responses, consider asking your potential partner to also take this assessment as a basis for discussion. As you assess your responses, note the factors that are important to you in making this decision.

  1. What are the most important factors?
  2. Does the person you are considering having sex with have any factors that you consider to be negative? What are they?
  3. How important are these factors to you?
  4. How severe are the potential consequences of your or your partner's ideas and/or actions?