A new study which is to appear in the March issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health has found that teen sex is not only a result of unsupervised afternoons, but is actually a more complex behavior. Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine Adolescent Medicine conducted a study of 106 adolescent girls aged between 14 to 18 years and tracked them through annual questionnaires and dairies maintained by the participants.
All the participants were from inner Indianapolis. "This data reveals that more than just opportunity plays a role in the frequency of sexual activity among teens," said principal author J. Dennis Fortenberry, M.D., M.S., professor of adolescent medicine and a researcher with the Mid-America Adolescent STD Cooperative Research Center. "I think the take-home message from this study is that more than simple public health solutions are needed to alter such complex behavior." The study found that adolescent sexual intercourse occurred only on 12 percent of the days and that afternoon intercourse was less likely to occur on school days than on vacation days. Evening/ night sex accounted for a majority of the incidences and occurred more on weekends. "Perhaps the most important message from the analyses is the complexity of adolescent sexuality and adolescent sex," said Dr. Fortenberry. "Public health problems are most easily resolved when only a single risk factor is involved. The conflicts and issues in this research show the multifaceted issues of teen sexuality and may explain why sex and its untoward health consequences have proven resistant to simple interventions, including those focused only on sexual abstinence." It was also found that teen behaviour was influenced by the general mood of the partner, parental supervision and the amount of sexual activity in the previous week.