Teen Sex Won't Hurt Your Kid's Grades -- Well, Except This Kind ...


teen romance couple couch cuddlingParents can breathe a big sigh of relief. A new study determines that teens having sex seem to do just as well in school as teens who abstain.

This is really good news considering the fact that last year nearly half of high school students reported having sex.

However, all this really depends on the kind of sex the teens are having.

The study, conducted by University of California, Davis sociologist Bill McCarthy and University of Minnesota sociologist Eric Grodsky, found that teens in committed sexual relationships fared fine in school, actually finding social and emotional support in their sex partners, which helped reduce their anxiety and stress levels in life and in school.

"This should give some comfort to parents who may be concerned that their teenage son or daughter is dating," said sociologist Peggy Giordano of Bowling Green State University. Teen sex is "not going to derail their educational trajectories."

However, not all teens having sexual intercourse are in the clear in terms of their education. Not surprisingly, the study also found that teens who were hooking up and have casual sex actually got lower grades, cared less about school, and had more school-related problems.

So let me rephrase my opening statement. Parents of teens in committed relationships can breathe a big sigh of relief in terms of their kids' school performances. Parents of teens who are or might be sleeping around? Carry on with the worrying.

Probably the most provocative outcome:

The study dispels the notion that all teen sex is bad, said Marie Harvey, professor of public health at Oregon State University.

"The type of relationship really matters. When it comes to sexual behavior, it takes two to tango," said Harvey, adding that safe sex should be practiced to prevent teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Wow, not all teen sex is bad. That's enlightening for sure and relieving in a strange way, but even so, it's still going to be an easy pill for many parents to swallow.

Are you relieved by these finding or did you stick your fingers in your ears and start singing "la la la" the minute we mentioned "teen sex"?


Image via karpov the wrecked train/Flickr

sex & dating, education, grades, high school, teens, behavior


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I kinda want to stick my fingers in my ears and say lalalalalalaaaa on this one.  But I won't be ignorant.  My son is only ten so we are just starting with all these lovely conversations now.

tonya... tonyalynn

im glad that it will be awhile before i have to worry about this.

nonmember avatar Brenda

We have 4 kids, our youngest is 17 and at the beginning of their first "relationship" with the opposite sex (that I knew about), I had "the talk" with them about the physical/emotional changes that occur with women as well as self-protection for both my sons and daughters. The key to our conversation, we were one-on-one in the car. I figured it was the most privacy I could find with each child and there would be major road rash if they felt the need to get away from the conversation!!! :) Only one of my sons admitted to almost choosing jumping from the speeding vehicle as an option to avoid the conversation. :) Actually, it turned out to be a great place to have this conversation. There was no staring down into the kids' soul as I had to drive the car while conversing and the kids felt more comfortable conversing about sex because they could avert their eyes from me while they asked questions and made comments. Good luck to all of you just starting out in these years, enjoy the gray hair moments as much as the rest!

clean... cleanaturalady

As much as I would love to stick my fingers in my ears and ignore teen sex, I can't.  I just keep an open line of communication with my kids, educate them and hope they make good choices.

Wendi Watson


Peajewel Peajewel

I kept an open line of communication with my son and discussed all sorts of things with him and he told me everything about his life except for when he started having sex.  I truly had no idea he had started having sex.  I would have never found out had I not walked in on him.  YIKES!  However, so maybe on some level I was the stick my finger in my ear kind of Mom. 

maine... mainemusicmaker

I, also, agree with cleanaturalady.

csquire csquire

I'm actually with Brenda and wish this teen section was more about those like her who can pass on words of wisdom from another parent who has just been through it. Too many moms and bloggers on here with young ones. Whatta ya say brenda? Can YOU start a blog????

Stick my fingers in my ears and start singing" lalala?" Come on!

Brenda's car conversations was MUCH BETTER advice!

Bj TheEnigma Fish

You know what really puts a damper on your education... pregnancy...

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