Close-knit Family, Community Key to Teens Delaying Sex

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by HealthDay.

Teenagers who are part of close-knit neighborhoods and families are less likely to have sex at a young age, a new study has found.

On the other hand, teens’ schools have less influence on their sexual behavior, researchers report.

“Our results echo other studies’ findings on the importance of families and neighborhoods in protecting youth from risky behaviors, and show that feeling connected to one’s local community can mitigate sexual risky behaviors,” said lead researcher Dr. Camila Cribb Fabersunne, a pediatrician with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

Teens whose parents restricted their dating were 55% less likely to have sex by 10th grade, results showed.

So were kids who spend less time alone when home (8% less likely), and who had tight-knit families (7% less likely).

Teenagers from close-knit neighborhoods were 10% less likely to have sex by 10th grade, results show.

However, no school factors were associated with delaying sex until later in high school, researchers found.

This is the first known study to evaluate how children’s social connections can affect their sexual behavior, Cribb Fabersunne said.

The results, published June 4 in the Journal of Adolescent Health, show that school-provided messages and education about sexual behavior have little impact, Cribb Fabersunne said.

Instead, public health officials should focus resources on strategies involving families and neighborhoods, like establishing community-based health centers for youth and supporting parents in conversations with teenagers around sex.

Source: HealthDay

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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