Monday, November 12, 2007

Horny Teens Aren't Hoodlums

National Blog Posting Month Day 12

Here at FomaCentral we are just a little obsessed with the sex habits of teenagers. This is perhaps a little prurient, but I defend it as a necessity as the parent of a teenager. The latest hooking up news is a study that shows that despite conventional wisdom, losing your virginity is not a valid predictor of criminal behavior. One of the lynchpins of abstinence education (news flash: still not working) is that by deterring sexual activity, there is a halo effect in lowering criminal activity. Right.

The new report as detailed in Sunday’s Washington Post article by Rick Weiss debunks the causality link between teen sex and crime. One problem with the online story is that it doesn’t include the graph in the dead trees edition that I was interested in, the age at which teens first get their freak on, so I have recreated it as a public service to my similarly curious readers.


One problem with news reporters is their complete lack of graphing skilz. I don’t care how many kids have sex exactly between the QuinceaƱera and Sweet Sixteen parties, I want to know how many kids have been knocking boots BY the time they are seventeen, so here is a better graph.


By the time the eighteenth birthday rolls around, they can't legally drink but 69% of them have already done the dirty. What is more alarming is that 18% of kids have danced the horizontal bop before 15. Age of consent laws have not kept up with reality, and like speed limits, so many people are breaking the law as to become meaningless. Unless you are a teenager in Atlanta getting a hummer from your fifteen year old girlfriend. Then you can be thrown in jail for three years as a sex offender until the Georgia Supreme Court declares that cruel and unusual punishment.

These public relations fiascos result from vagaries in the patchwork of state laws as another recent WaPo article explains. Maryland, like many other states, has what is called by creepy internet-only lawyers as the "four-year rule". If you are under 16 but your partner is within four years of your age, you are in the clear. The problem in Georgia was that sexual acts were treated different from sexual intercourse which, as Bill Clinton will explain, makes all the difference in the world. Nobody cared until somebody went to jail. And all you pervy guys on the web that seem to know all the rules by state: If you have to check a lawyer, you shouldn’t be checking out the chick.

But back to the UVA Study. Counter-intuitively, the study even found that while juvenile delinquents have has more sex than most teens, they didn’t commit crimes BECAUSE they have had sex. In fact the study found the reverse. Here is how the Post explains it:
Perhaps most surprising, the Virginia study found that adolescents who had sex at younger ages were less likely to end up delinquent than those who lost their virginity later. Many factors play into a person's readiness for sex, but in at least some cases sexual relationships may offer an alternative to trouble, the researchers say.
Somehow I don’t see the Bush Administration rushing to hand out condoms as an anti-crime program.

Every time I write one of these posts, I get accused of wanting to deny hormonally flushed youngsters from enjoying their bodies while they are still fresh and attractive. No such thing. I just want the sexual activity to follow the emotional readiness, which as any parent of a teenager will tell you is long after they get out from under their roof.

Besides, these little graphs contradict an earlier post I made about college students, even the lucky ones, not having as much sex as everyone thinks. That article mentioned that half of MIT undergrads were still virgins. I better keep my fingers crossed for my son's application. And study up on the concept of causality.

BlatantCommentWhoring™: If you had a teenager and you caught them in a compromising position, would you call the cops, the other kid's parents, or the family doctor? Or just laugh?

6 comments:

The Mistress of the Dark said...

I'm thinking laughter is the only medicine there, because I'd have to remember I was a horny teenager once.

Needles said...

I'd go with laughter too. It is the only way to keep ones parental superiority intact in the eyes of the teen. My own eyes too.

Been there, lived through it, found it very very hard to keep a straight face for a few days on encountering the very embarrassed eyes of said child.

You forget the other part of such an incident though, yellojkt. How after such a thing, as a parent you make very, very sure, you have quiet bedsprings.

Impetua said...

It would have to depend on the parties involved. And whether they had adequate education. I say this as the parent of a future teenage girl, and a former one myself who experienced a close call or two back in the day. WAY back.

But, if they were established and educated and it wasn't a horrible surprise, I'd laugh my ass off. And tease them mercilessly.

Mooselet said...

Um, none of the above. I'd probably freak out and wish I could blot the image from my brain, and later sit down with my horribly embarrassed child and explain a)not under my roof and b)are you protected? Only later, much later, would I be able to joke about it.

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