Thursday, August 19, 2010

Benefits of Teen Sex within Relationship

You probably picture the teen who's having sex to be morally depraved and out of control, whose only potential outcome is pregnancy or STD infection (or perhaps both). Or maybe you don't, but if you do, it's probably because whenever you tune into a news story regarding teen sex, this is what you hear:

[Casual teen sex partners] are more likely to experience problems in school, being suspended or expelled, being less likely to aspire to or expect to attend college, being less attached to school and more likely to earn lower grades, the study said.

What mainstream society is only beginning to come to terms with is that it's not all doom and gloom when it comes to teens having sex with other teens. Often the reason that such eventualities persist is because of the draconian system of sexual repression teens have to pair their biology off of--the very system supposedly set up to prevent these issues. In fact, as this research has found, if teens are allowed to carry out relationships with one another, regardless of whether they are sexual with one another, we might see more positive news for a change, like this:

The authors say students who have sex only with romantic partners have generally similar academic outcomes as students who abstain from sex.

Of course it seems the majority of the article described here talked about the consequences of non-romantic sexual activities, but they didn't let it obscure the point, which is that not all sex between teenagers is unhealthy or dangerous. Now I'm not naive enough to believe that if teen sex were more encouraged we'd see less negative results, but under a system that discourages all teen sex, even healthy expressions of it, we should expect nothing else.

The authors said their findings raise some doubts about abstinence-only education programs that link all types of adolescent sex to a wide variety of problems for teens.

Abstinence-only doesn't work.

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