Abstinence advocates, rejoice?

A study published in The Journal of Youth and Adolescence has found that American teenagers who lose their virginity before their peers are more likely to commit petty crime. Stacy Armour, a PhD student at Ohio State University, surveyed the sexual and criminal habits of a group of 7000 youngsters in 1995, 1996 and 2002. ...

603682_teengraffiti5.jpg
603682_teengraffiti5.jpg

A study published in The Journal of Youth and Adolescence has found that American teenagers who lose their virginity before their peers are more likely to commit petty crime. Stacy Armour, a PhD student at Ohio State University, surveyed the sexual and criminal habits of a group of 7000 youngsters in 1995, 1996 and 2002. Those who lost their virginity early—or, in the terminology of the study, made their "sexual debut"—were a whopping 58 percent more likely to paint graffiti, damage property deliberately, steal, and sell drugs.

As if that weren't enough to send the abstinence movement into rapture, the study also demonstrated that the sooner the children became sexually active (at least one student surveyed started having sex at the tender age of 11), the more pronounced their delinquent habits. "Having sex brings with it this feeling of being an adult," explained Armour. "They may feel like they can do things older kids do, and for some that may include delinquency." There's some comfort for adolescent virgins across the land: the Casanova hooligans can easily find themselves trapped in malicious behavior. Armour found that those who were sexually active in the second survey were 20% more likely to still be committing petty crime by the third, when they were in their late teens and early 20s.

A study published in The Journal of Youth and Adolescence has found that American teenagers who lose their virginity before their peers are more likely to commit petty crime. Stacy Armour, a PhD student at Ohio State University, surveyed the sexual and criminal habits of a group of 7000 youngsters in 1995, 1996 and 2002. Those who lost their virginity early—or, in the terminology of the study, made their “sexual debut”—were a whopping 58 percent more likely to paint graffiti, damage property deliberately, steal, and sell drugs.

As if that weren’t enough to send the abstinence movement into rapture, the study also demonstrated that the sooner the children became sexually active (at least one student surveyed started having sex at the tender age of 11), the more pronounced their delinquent habits. “Having sex brings with it this feeling of being an adult,” explained Armour. “They may feel like they can do things older kids do, and for some that may include delinquency.” There’s some comfort for adolescent virgins across the land: the Casanova hooligans can easily find themselves trapped in malicious behavior. Armour found that those who were sexually active in the second survey were 20% more likely to still be committing petty crime by the third, when they were in their late teens and early 20s.

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