ATLANTA The context in which adolescent sexual activity occurs can substantially moderate the negative relationship between sexual intercourse and education, according to research to be presented at the 105th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.
"Compared to abstinence, sexual intercourse in committed romantic relationships is often academically harmless, whereas in other types of relationships it is more detrimental," said Bill McCarthy and Eric Grodsky, sociologists at the University of California-Davis and the University of Minnesota, respectively. "Females and males who have sex only with romantic partners are generally similar to abstainers on most of the education measures we examined."
Titled, "Sex and School: Adolescent Sexual Intercourse and Education," the study considers nine education measures:
Compared to abstainers who are otherwise similar to adolescents who have sex, youth who have sex only with partners with whom they are not romantically involved are at greater risk on the following measures:
"Collectively, our results find that the detrimental outcomes commonly attributed to adolescent sexual intercourse occur mostly in non-romantic contexts," said McCarthy and Grodsky. "These findings raise doubts about the veracity of sexual education programs that link adolescent sex to a plethora of negative outcomes."
|Contact: Daniel Fowler|
American Sociological Association