Teens who start having sex significantly earlier than their peers also show higher rates of delinquency in later years, new research shows. A national study of more than 7, youth found that adolescents who had sex early showed a 20 percent increase in delinquent acts one year later compared to those whose first sexual experience occurred at the average age for their school. In contrast, those teens who waited longer than average to have sex had delinquency rates 50 percent lower a year later compared to average teens. And those trends continued up to six years. Armour conducted the study with Dana Haynie, associate professor of sociology at Ohio State. Their results appear in the February issue of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence. An initial survey was conducted in of students from across the country in grades 7 to This study included students who reported they were virgins in this first survey. They were then surveyed again one year later, and a third time six years later in In this study, the average age of sexual debut — age at first intercourse — was calculated for each school in the sample.
The Social Context of Sexual Behavior
Researchers at the Children's Hospital Boston found that the younger children are exposed to content intended for adults in television and movies, the earlier they become sexually active during adolescence. Hernan Delgado said in a statement. The study consisted of participants -- males and females -- who were tracked during two stages in life. Television programs and movies were tracked during childhood and sexual activity was tracked five years later when study participants were ages 12 to
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To identify the most important social and personal characteristics related to early sexual debut among troubled teenagers. One hundred ninety-eight youths aged 12—19 years were recruited from outpatient mental health clinics and completed self-reports and interviews about their age of sexual debut; family, peer, and partner relationships e. Three social context variables parental hostile control, negative and positive peer influence and one personal characteristic externalizing problems correctly classified Parental behavior and peer influence were the most important variables associated with the timing of sexual debut. Results support a social-personal framework for understanding sexual risk-taking among adolescents in psychiatric care, and the data offer relatively strong evidence that specific factors could be used to identify troubled teens at risk for early sexual debut. It has been 20 years since the first case of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome AIDS was diagnosed, and despite efforts to curb the spread of human immunodeficiency virus HIV , rates of infection are rising among adolescents. Teenagers are initiating sex at earlier ages CDC, a , and early sexual debut is associated with higher HIV exposure because it is linked to more frequent sexual intercourse, more lifetime STDs, less consistent contraceptive use, and more sexual partners Brooks-Gunn and Paikoff, ; CDC, ; Durbin et al. Some youths are at greater risk than others. Teens in psychiatric care, for example, engage in higher rates of sexual risk-taking than their same-age peers Brown et al.
The uproar that followed a November episode of Fox's "Glee" in which two teen couples had sex for the first time may have some scientific legs. New research shows sex during the adolescent years could affect mood and brain development into adulthood. The study, which was carried out on hamsters, reveals how social experiences during adolescence when the brain is still developing can have broad consequences, say the researchers from Ohio State University College of Medicine. Specifically, the animals that mated earlier in life had higher levels of depressive behaviors, changes to the brain and smaller reproductive tissues compared to those that had intercourse later or not at all. Morris and his colleagues cautioned, however, that the study should not be used to promote teenage abstinence , as they noted the research was carried out on hamsters and it isn't certain the same conclusion will hold for humans. As such, more research is needed understand the effects of sex during puberty. The study, which was presented on Nov. The researchers had a group of day-old male hamsters the equivalent of human teens mate with adult females in heat. A second group of males mated in adulthood 80 days into life , while a control group was not exposed to females.