Sexually Active Teens–Less Likely to Be Delinquents?

Posted: August 22, 2011 by jerkmag in VICES -- sex, drugs & alcohol

University of Texas at Austin Psychologist Paige Harden and her colleagues are releasing their findings from a recent study suggesting that teens who are in committed relationships and having sex, are less likely than those who are abstinent, to find themselves exhibiting antisocial, delinquent behavior–like doing drugs and drinking alcohol, among other questionable activities that could land them in trouble. I mean, who would need to resort to mischievous behavior when they’re consistently getting laid?

According to Harden, “These results may suggest that teens who spend more one-on-one time with their boyfriends or girlfriends, and less time with their friends, have fewer opportunities to get into trouble.” To me, this is a really scary thought. We’re told our whole lives not to depend on a relationship, and to depend more on our friends/family, and this study is sort of taking that idea, and twisting it. I think there definitely needs to be an equal balance between friend time and relationship time. I say this because after a relationship, you’re going to need your friends. You’re going to need support. If you blow off your friends to spend time with your partner, you’ll end up with no one to be there for you.

The studies might suggest that less trouble occurs with teens who spend more time one-on-one with their significant others, but that’s just talking about drugs and alcohol. Not to sound like a mom or anything, but nowhere does Harden address trouble involving STDS and pregnancies. Newsflash: Sex can very well lead to parenthood. Shocking.

I think boyfriends/girlfriends can have a positive influence on a person, (I don’t want to discredit any positive relationships out there) as long as the relationship is healthy, but I’ve unfortunately known too many people in my lifetime that have gotten involved in unhealthy relationships. Therefore, I think this study is kind of B.S. Spending too much time with a significant other, at the age of kids involved in the study (13-18), is unhealthy. Those teen years are still growing years. You’re still trying to figure yourself out. I don’t think the majority of your time should be spent with your boyfriend/girlfriend.

What do you think?

-Julia Fuino
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