I doubt that many teenagers will be able to convince their parents of this but it could make for some very interesting dinner time talk:
Early sex may not lead where we think it does.
Teens who start having sex at an early age may be less likely to engage in delinquent behavior in early adulthood than teens who wait until they are older to have sex, a new U.S. study finds.
The conclusion contradicts the widely held belief that early sexual activity is associated with later drug use, criminality, antisocial behavior and emotional problems.
We got a very surprising finding, particularly that early sex seems to forecast less antisocial behavior a few years later, rather than more,” said lead researcher Kathryn Paige Harden, a PhD 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. But we actually found that teens who had sex earlier seem to have better relationships later. Now we want to find out why,” she said.
“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.”
So many variations of such a discussion between parent and teenager are going through my mind that I couldn’t possibly unscramble them.