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Plus for teenagers having sex in a steady relationship

marciadottin, [email protected]

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LOS ANGELES – There’s good news for parents who worry that their teenagers’ sex lives are affecting their school performance: A provocative new study has found that teens in committed relationships do no better or worse in school than those who don’t have sex.The same isn’t true for teens who “hook up”. Researchers found that those who have casual flings get lower grades and have more school-related problems compared with those who abstain.The findings, presented yesterday at a meeting of the American Sociological Association in Atlanta, challenge to some extent assumptions that sexually active teens tend to do poorer in school.It’s not so much whether a teen has sex that determines academic success, the researchers said, 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.“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, who had no role in the research. Teen sex is “not going to derail their educational trajectories”, she said.Last year, nearly half of high school students reported having sexual intercourse, and 14 per cent have had four or more partners, according to a federal survey released this summer. (AP)