Teenagers who are engaged in committed, sexual relationships are less likely to engage in delinquent behavior than those who have casual sex or no sex at all, according to new research out Wednesday from The University of Texas at Austin.
Sexually active teens in relationships displayed lower levels of anti-social behavior than those "hooking up" with partners they were not dating or those who were not having sex, the study found.
Teens in relationships seem to have less time and opportunities to get into trouble, study leader Paige Harden, assistant professor of psychology at The University of Texas at Austin, said.
Those teens spend less time with their friends and more time with their boyfriend or girlfriend, Harden said.
The study, published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, examined 519 pairs of identical twins between the ages of 13 and 18.
The twins were quizzed on their sexual activity and delinquent behavior. Several twins were found to have different sexual experiences, despite being genetically identical and raised the same way.
Harden said few studies have looked into the potential benefits of teenage sexual relationships, with much research coming up with the negative consequences of early intimacy.
Click here to read more.