Teen Sex Not Always Bad for School Performance
August 17, 2010
Teenagers in committed sexual relationships are similar to peers who abstain with regard to grade-point average, how attached they are to school, and whether they expect to attend college, according to a study presented Sunday in Atlanta at a meeting of the American Sociological Association.
"The type of relationship really matters," said Oregon State University professor Marie Harvey.
Regardless of whether the relationship was committed or casual, teenagers in sexual relationships were more likely to be truant or drop out of school. Drop-out statistics were based on small numbers, the researchers noted.
The researchers looked at surveys and school transcripts from a follow-up study that began during the 1994-95 school year. When teens first have sex and attitudes toward teen sex have not changed much in the past decade, they concluded.
In a statement, the Family Research Council said the study's results validated its own assessment of the negative consequences of casual sex and that the findings about committed teen sex did not justify comprehensive sex education.
In contrast, University of Southern California sociologist Julie Albright said the results could support sex education to "emphasize the importance of relationships and spell out the consequences of casual sex."
08.15.2010; Alicia Chang
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