Fascinating study by Paige Harden, a doctoral candidate in psychology at the University of Virginia that's going to really piss some people off:
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.
Even then, there are emotional and physical risks. Young adolescents, in particular, are less likely to use condoms and so are vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. But those are risks that other nations have mitigated with education, Harden and Turkheimer said, while U.S. educators wanting a piece of the nation's $200 million "abstinence only" budget must adhere to a curriculum that links sex to delinquency and explicitly precludes discussion of contraception.
The new study "really calls into question the usefulness of abstinence education for preventing behavior problems," Harden said, "and questions the bigger underlying assumption that all adolescent sex is always bad."
One wonders how adolescent sex could be bad -- throughout history, until v. recently, people began having sex, children, "adult" lives in their teens. It's long seemed obvious to me that teens have problems around early sex because our entire society has problems around sex. If you take something natural and make it "bad" kids will have problems with it (see, e.g., teenage girls and, say, eating). Once you intelligently deal, as other nations do, with issues such as preventing pregnancy and transmitting disease, it's not at all clear to me why teen sex is "bad" or "harmful." Nor why it should be related to delinquent behaviors.
But you know this study is going to drive the fundies batshit insane.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."