In a survey conducted partly by nonprofit organization Girls Inc., researchers took a look at the sexual behavior and attitudes of teenage girls — and maybe we can quit fretting over the "Pregnancy Pact" and Gossip Girl's latest hookups.
While it may seem like teenagers are out of control these days — what, with the sexting and the like — girls seem savvy and thoughtful.
For instance: Smart, well-read girls don't have sex too soon, according to the findings:
Girls who reported receiving an 'A' grade in reading … were significantly less likely to report first sexual intercourse by ninth grade than girls with 'C' grades or lower.
Also, girls do not think Teen Mom is an inspirational show:
Ninety percent of seventh and ninth grade girls said it was not acceptable to be pregnant as a teenager or for teenagers to have babies.
Although: Those girls who drink and smoke behind school? They're still what my mom would call "fast:"
Girls who reported having used any substances (alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana) in the month prior to the survey were more than twice as likely as other girls to initiate sexual intercourse.
The group of 800 teens represented all kinds of girls: "Seventy-nine percent were girls of diverse ethnicities. Nearly two-thirds (63%) received free or reduced-price school lunches. A quarter lived in single-parent households."
And no matter what's happening on TV or in movies, girls respond to a strong female figure:
The likelihood of initiating sexual intercourse was twenty percent for girls who reported having the most positive relationships with their mothers, compared to thirty-two percent for girls who reported the least positive relationships.
Findings from the Girls Shape the Future Study [Girls Inc]
[Image via The CW]