Navigation Links
Early teen sex may not be a path to delinquency, study shows
Date:11/12/2007

A new study by University of Virginia clinical psychologists has found that teens who have sex at an early age may be less inclined to exhibit delinquent behavior in early adulthood than their peers who waited until they were older to have sex. The study also suggests that early sex may play a role in helping these teens develop better social relationships in early adulthood.

The finding is published in the current online edition of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, and runs counter to most assumptions that relate early teen sex to later drug use, criminality, antisocial behavior and emotional problems. The finding also contradicts parts of a study published earlier this year in the same journal that found a connection between early teen sex and later behavioral problems.

The researchers analyzed data on 534 same-sex twin pairs in the United States gathered at three time points over a seven-year period. By examining surveys of twins, the investigators were able to eliminate the genetic and socio-economic variables that otherwise might influence the behaviors of adolescents.

We got a very surprising finding, particularly that early sex seems to forecast less antisocial behavior a few years later, rather than more, said Kathryn Paige Harden, the studys lead author and a Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology at the University of Virginia.

There is a cultural assumption in the United States that if teens have sex early it is somehow bad for their psychological health, Harden said. But we actually found that teens who had sex earlier seem to have better relationships later. Now we want to find out why.

Harden says she plans further investigations that will look closely at the contexts of early teen sexual activity, such as the types of relationships, whether they were casual or intimate, how old the partners were, where the sex occurred and why, and how long the relationships lasted. She and her colleagues will then try to relate that to later behaviors and attitudes.

Our hypothesis as a result of this finding is that teens who become involved in intimate romantic relationships early are having sex early and more often, but that those intimate relationships might later protect them from becoming involved in delinquent acts later, Harden said. People assume there is an association between early sex and later delinquency. It could be because teen sex transgresses parental expectations and is seen as impulsive or influenced by peer pressure. But peoples concerns about early sex leading to delinquency may not be warranted.

Harden does acknowledge that early adolescent sexuality is linked to early pregnancy and disease, but these risks are not inevitable. She notes that in other Western countries, such as Australia, there are similar rates and patterns of teen sexual activity as in the United States, but drastically lower rates of teen pregnancy. She attributes this to a poor level of sexual health knowledge in the United States, ineffective contraceptive use and lower abortion rates.

What we may have found is that strong relationships encourage pro-social instead of antisocial behavior, said Hardens advisor and co-author, Robert Emory, a U.Va. professor of psychology. A thought experiment on this point is, if teens got married early, they would be sexually active early, but likely would engage in less antisocial behavior later.

Harden and her colleagues mined their data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a nationally representative study designed to assess adolescent health and risk behavior. The data is gleaned from extensive surveys of teens that were collected in three waves between 1994 and 2002.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kathryn Paige Harden
434-982-4712
University of Virginia
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Pot bellies linked to early signs of cardiovascular disease
2. Eye-staining technique offers early detection for dry eye syndrome
3. Early Weight Loss in Women Linked to Dementia
4. Isolation of a new gene family essential for early development
5. U of M study: Early treatment can reverse heart damage
6. Gerresheimer to be Included in the SDAX Early Decision on Inclusion in the MDAX on September 5, 2007
7. Rock N Roll: Sex, Drugs and an Early Exit
8. Pop stars more than twice as likely to die an early death
9. Exercise and yoga improves quality of life in women with early-stage breast cancer
10. Research says doctors gender may hinder early diagnosis of heart disease in women
11. Antidepressant shows early promise in treating agitation and psychotic symptoms of dementia
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... that offers insurance and financial preparation services, is providing an update on a ... organization. , Rock City Rescue is a locally recognized nonprofit that provides shelter ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... PurhealthRX , a leading Health and Nutrition Company, is announcing ... full spectrum CBD oil will revolutionize the rapidly growing CBD market by reducing the ... incorporated into liquid products, while reducing costs to end users. , The team of ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of ... collection of specialty vendors and unique items from across the nation, this holiday-themed event ... wellness services offered by the VNA. The boutique will be open Saturday, November ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... and Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the Center for ... Agreement (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest growing franchisors and ... flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, in January of ... Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it to serve both ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/4/2017)... the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza vaccination should ... helping communities across Massachusetts , Connecticut ... shots through the end of the month. *Some exclusions apply ... ... is by the end of October, according to the Centers for Disease ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... Halo Labs announces the European launch of their new ... at MIBio 2017 in Cambridge, U.K on ... in biopharmaceutical samples with unprecedented speed and sensitivity while using far ... Membrane Imaging. ... particle analysis system ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... and NEW YORK , Sept. 27, 2017 ... mobile health and big data solutions, today announced that its MyDario product ... check your local TV listings for when The Dr. Oz Show airs ... The ... this month. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: