To much dating as a teen
Compared to teens who spend less than 10 hours a week with a girlfriend or boyfriend, these teens are two and a half times more likely to drink, five times more likely to get drunk, four and a half times more likely to try marijuana and two and a half times more likely to smoke.
Pregnancy is another issue in teen dating, resulting from the lack of use of contraceptives, which often leads to low birth weight in babies and issues with prenatal care.
That was true across all demographic groups in the study.
The new findings are consistent with other recent research, and they tell a complicated story of teens today.
Just because you can date when you turn 16 doesn’t mean you should immediately start looking for a steady boyfriend or girlfriend.
For decades, prophets have preached that youth who are in no position to marry should not pair off exclusively.
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Stan Mack is a business writer specializing in finance, business ethics and human resources.