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Mature And Confident Teen Girls Less Likely To Risk Sex

Update Date: Mar 22, 2014 08:44 PM EDT

Girls belonging to age group 14-19, who are focused on their future and have higher levels of maturity are less likely to be sexually active, a new research has found. 

To assess the degree of maturity and confidence related to girls' sexual behavior, researchers monitored their posts on various Internet forums. They noted that the screen names of the girls and following observations on their posts differentiated them according to their attitudes about sex. 

"I noted each girl's attitude towards adolescent sexual behavior, and I then observed what positions they took on the forums and whether they gave advice or took it," said UAH senior psychology student Kelly Arnold in the press release.

"Other than finding out the girls' ages, the posts were tracked passively. If they knew they were being watched they could have acted differently.I didn't see any relationship between their numerical age and how they acted or their maturity and confidence levels," she added.

Researchers suggested that the decision to delay sexual activity may be a product of having a future-oriented time perspective. 

"Giving advice indicates greater confidence than asking for advice, and girls who thought that it was best to wait until adulthood to engage in sexual behavior were more likely to be giving advice than girls who thought having sex as a teenager was OK," Arnold said.

Arnold also found that the definition of what constituted sexual activity among the considered age group was very narrow. Girls' also knew less about the risks associated with any sexual contact.

"That was one thing I thought was strange, because it was just as risky to have those other forms of sex. But many of the girls didn't seem to think that way," Arnold added.

The research was presented at the Mid South Psychology Conference (MSPC) and to the Committee on Equality of Professional Opportunity (CEPO).

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