New insights into adolescent sexual and high-risk behavior

As many of you know, I also edit the Education Blog and have a long-standing interest in adolescent development and psychology. A couple of recent news articles highlight research into teen development that can provide helpful background information to both educators and cognitive scientists.

  • USA Today reports on a new U. of California-Merced study that found “most teens who engage in oral sex for the first time will have vaginal intercourse within six months.” The study is available online from the Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine (subscription required).
  • Dr. Scott Frank of the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine argues in a new study that a relationship exists between ‘hyper-texting’ teens – adolescents who send 120 or more text messages daily – and high-risk behaviors such as drug use and sexual activity. “The study found those who text at least 120 times a day are nearly three-and-a-half times more likely to have had sex than their peers who don’t text that much. Hyper-texters were also more likely to have been in a physical fight, binge drink, use illegal drugs or take medication without a prescription.” [Associated Press, via Yahoo! News]
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