Teen Sex Not Always Bad for School Performance

Bloged in Culture, Musings, Parenting, Society, World by Mel Tuesday August 17, 2010

One of the items to make the headline news today / yesterday / recently was an Associated Press report (and variations thereof) on the findings of the Americian Sociological Association in Atlanta, that teen sex does not necessarily affect school grades : see truncated article at TIME here.  In what the report claims is a challenge "to some extent assumptions that sexually active teens do poorer in schools", it was said that

It’s not so much whether a teen has sex that determines academic success, the researchers say, but the type of sexual relationship they’re engaged in. Teens in serious relationships may find social and emotional support in their sex partners, reducing their anxiety and stress levels in life and in school.

Also

Researchers found that those who have casual flings get lower grades and have more school-related problems compared with those who abstain.

From this it appears that several experts in the US have asked for sex education to be reviewed in schools, to emphasise "importance of relationships and spell out the consequences of casual sex" (Albright). 

I’m not sure what that means exactly since I don’t have the benefit of reading the quote in context, though it sounds suspiciously like a an attempt to justify a more permissive attitude towards sex so long as teenagers are taught that sexual activity is confined to stable or committed relationships.

My thoughts are :

(1)  Society’s concern about teenage sex, whether casual or within in a more stable or committed relationship, transcends more than just grades.  There are issues such as teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and emotional hurt that a teenager may not be prepared to cope with (when a relationship finally breaks down), which society needs to grapple with.

(2)  If teenage sex within the confines of a stable or committed relationship is not as bad an idea as the report claims it to be, perhaps it is now time for society to pour resources into getting teenagers into the ultimate form of a stable, committed relationship — marriage !  If teenage sex is almost unavoidable, which is what liberals believe nowadays, we might as well get them married first !  That way, they’ll still make it to university.

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