Teens in Love Do Less Crime

Jan 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Teenagers in love may be less likely to get mixed up in crime and substance abuse, according to new UC Davis research. But while romantic love seems to help keep teens law-abiding, casual sex can mean trouble.

UC Davis sociology professor Bill McCarthy and graduate student Teresa Casey found that teenagers in romantic sexual relationships had the same low rates of criminal behavior and substance abuse as celibate teenagers.

But when compared with their celibate peers, teenagers who had sex with nonromantic partners were up to 20 percent more likely to have been involved in criminal behavior -- and as much as 58 percent more likely to have engaged in substance use.

"Romantic love may fill a void that occurs in adolescence between the weakening of parental control and the onset of a marital bond," McCarthy and Casey write. "Romantic love might discourage offending by strengthening adolescents' social bond."

The study used advanced statistical techniques and data drawn from the nationally representative Adolescent Health Survey. It is published in the latest issue of the American Sociological Review.

Provided by UC Davis

Explore further: Germany says Pissarro painting from Gurlitt trove to be returned

Related Stories

A Walkman Obit: Remembering the portable player

Oct 25, 2010

(AP) -- The Walkman, the Sony cassette device that forever changed music listening before becoming outdated by digital MP3 players and iPods, has died. It was 31 years old. ...

Japan resort draws men with virtual girlfriends

Aug 30, 2010

Long a favourite of lovers and honeymooners, a Japanese beach town with fading sparkle has found a new tourism niche in the wired age by drawing young men and their virtual girlfriends.

Recommended for you

The humorous path to academic success

13 hours ago

Academics and universities are in a race: to produce high impact publications, to gain citations, bring in grant income and climb university rankings. In this rat race, perhaps the true path to academic success ...

Scientists ask, peer review on fast track at what price?

14 hours ago

A fast-track peer-review trial is in the news. A Nature Publishing Group (NPG) -owned journal's editorial board member has resigned in protest over a pilot project where researchers pay for faster peer review. ...

New research says Anne Frank likely died a month earlier

Mar 31, 2015

Teenage Jewish diarist Anne Frank likely died of typhus in a Nazi concentration camp about a month earlier than previously thought, the Amsterdam museum that honors her memory said Tuesday on the 70th anniversary of the officially ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Corban
not rated yet Jan 21, 2009
Make love, not war.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.