The Surprising Secret to Well-Behaved Teens

happy teensWARNING: Depending on what kind of sex life you do or do not want your teen to have, you may or may not want her to read this. Because this is going to blow (oh geez, bad choice of word, sorry) your whole abstinence argument out of the water. If that's what you've been selling.

Okay, here goes: According to a recent study, teenagers who are having sex actually get into less trouble than those who ... can't get no satisfaction, so to speak. No, not that kind of "trouble." Like, the vandalizing school property, shoplifting, beer pong sort of trouble.

Surprising, right? Aren't backseat make-out sessions and keg parties the "two great tastes that taste great together" of juvenile delinquency?

Hold on, hold on ... there's something I haven't told you yet.


It's not just any old sex that keeps teens in line. Random hook-ups aren't gonna do it. The study found that only teens having sex within a relationship display "less antisocial behavior" than their abstinent pals. Casual sex, not so much.

Hmmm. There are a couple of theories floating around as to why this might be true. One is that teens who are having sex have simply discovered that sex is more fun than other available recreational options, such as knocking over tombstones at the local graveyard.

Another theory is that maybe healthy relationships are good for the overall well-being of teens. You know, having somebody who supports you and maybe will talk you out of inhaling spray paint isn't such a bad thing.

Call me a skeptic (most people do), but I think the first explanation, about sex being a better hobby than petty crime, is probably the more likely of the two. I'm sorry, but the average high school "relationship" isn't exactly healthy. Yes, I know there are exceptions. Overall, though? Raging hormones and raging-er immaturity levels do not a happy couple make.

Why do you think teens who are having sex get into less trouble?

Image via D. Sharon Pruitt/Flickr

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