Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sexless Education

Another area where my teachers led me astray: having sex early makes teens less likely to engage in delinquency.

Oh, if only I had been encouraged to develop healthy sexual relationships in high school, maybe I wouldn't have ended up on the dead-end, crime-ridden path I travel down today!


PG said...

an indication that genes influence the age at which a person will first have sex

Is this a polite, scientific way of saying the age at which a person will first have sex may have some correlation to Hot Or Not?

I think it's silly to think that early sex causes delinquency, but the UVA study only reinforces the common sense assumption: early sex and delinquency probably have some common causation. I wish the reporting had noted whether there were differences between boys and girls in this, because I suspect that the preference for risk-taking behavior, lower academic achievement and worse home environment are more true for girls than boys. There's still enough of a social disfavor toward young women's heterosexual activity (and a greater health risk) that a girl who has sex before 16 is doing so for reasons other than an interest in the sex itself (e.g. to keep a boyfriend, gain popularity, etc.)

David Schraub said...

My suspicion is that the fact of early sexual activity is less important than the reason why. I don't think necessarily that being prone to risk-taking behavior makes early sex a pointer for future delinquency -- as the article indicates, it could as easily be a replacement for criminal activity -- but I do think that the propensity to be pressured into something you don't want "for yourself" would correspond to a greater willingness to be pressured into other anti-social acts.

But early sexual activity could also be a sign of earlier maturity, an enhanced ability to form bonded, egalitarian relationships, greater independence, or merely full human flourishing.