Battle of the Studies: Does Teen Sex Lead to Delinquency?

Are sexually active teens more likely to be delinquents? That depends on which study you believe, according to a report in the Washington Post.

In February, researchers from The Ohio State University released a study that found that the younger teens lose their virginity, the more likely they are to become juvenile delinquents. The study garnered little attention, however, because the theory had long been believed to be true and incorporated into the teachings of federal abstinence programs.

Click here to read the Washington Post report

But a new study, released from researchers at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, found the opposite to be true. This study, led by Paige Harden, a doctoral candidate in psychology, found that pre-teens and early teens that have consensual sex are less likely to develop antisocial tendencies compared to their celibate classmates.

The latest study relies on behavioral genetics, which seeks to clarify whether one behavior actually causes another, or whether they are merely correlated.