The Relationship Between Adolescent Sexual Activity and the Lack of Adult Supervision
January 17, 2003
The December issue of Pediatrics features a study that examines when and where young people have sexual intercourse. Researchers wanted to determine if there is a link between lack of adult supervision and adolescent sexual activity.
Researchers recruited 2,034 high school students (1,065 males and 969 females), from six school-based sexually transmitted disease (STD) screening programs in an urban school district.
Participants completed a seven-question survey that asked about their sexual activity and the number of hours they spend unsupervised each week.
Setting at Last Sexual Encounter
Association of Supervision and Sexual Activity
The findings indicate that sexually active youths most often have sexual intercourse at home when left unsupervised. The researchers believe their data shows that increasing supervision for adolescents (using school and community-based after-school activities) will reduce the opportunities for all young people to engage in high-risk behaviors.
However, the authors feel that reducing opportunities for adolescents to engage in risky activities is not enough. They maintain that strong parent/child relationships can often be a young persons best protection from participating in high-risk behaviors.
The authors suggest that the entire community work to nurture relationships between adolescents and their parents.
This article was provided by Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. It is a part of the publication SHOP Talk: School Health Opportunities and Progress Bulletin.
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