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Study: Too Little Sex Bad For Teenagers' Attitudes
BOSTON (CAP) - A new study out of Brigham and Women's Hospital finds that teenagers who have sex less than twice per week are more cranky and irritable than their more promiscuous friends. Researchers concluded that a healthy sexual appetite can reduce stress, lower depression, and improve relationships with parents.
"What we found is that the same rules that apply to adults who have regular sex also apply to kids," said lead researcher Dr. Gavin Hardiman. "This should give some comfort to parents who may be concerned that their teenage son or daughter is the whore of their school - turns out, that's a good thing."
Hardiman and colleagues studied 369 teenagers ranging in age from 13 to 19 over a six-month period. Those who were having sex already were asked to keep up their current pace and those who weren't were split into two groups. One group continued to abstain while the other group was convinced to begin having sex frequently after a few months.
Researchers provided all necessary services for those who were unable to find their own partners.
"The girls I had began the study as introverted loners with very low self-esteem," said Dr. Chad Vine. "But in a very short time, they began to open up, blossom, and look more positively on the other aspects of their lives.
"They basically came in as scared little girls and left me as confident young women," Vine noted.
Many parents who were understandably concerned about their children's virginity being used for scientific purposes said they were amazed at the results. One whose son had created a list on Facebook of students at his school he wanted to "hurt badly" instead turned it into a list of those with whom he wanted to have sex before graduating. Others reported similar changes.
"My daughter's attitude was absolutely horrendous, and all I could think was, God, she just needs to get laid," said one mother of a 14-year-old in the study. "And after she did it was like night and day! Nice to her sisters, no talking back about doing the dishes - she was once again pleasant to be around."
The study has even garnered the surprising support of the anti-advocacy group Mothers Against Everything (MAE), who have come out in opposition of everything from the teenager who wants to become the youngest to wrestle a lion to the death to the contraceptive pill that works retroactively for up to 13 years.
"Normally this is something we would be against," said MAE spokeswoman Darlene Fortenski. "But we're more against these baggy pants-wearing kids and their damn attitudes, so if this is what it takes to fix that, then you have our begrudging support.
"But the sexual relations should take place under direct parental supervision, like in the living room on the pull-out sofa," added Fortenski. "That way parents can make sure it's just wholesome missionary sex and nothing hinky's going on."
The findings of the study will be published in next month's New England Journal Of Medicine. Researchers are next planning to study the impact and effects of marijuana use in the workplace.
"Imagine going into work and not stressing out over corporate earnings being down," said Hardiman. "Or the printer running out of ink. Or getting fired for smoking pot on the job. We think this study will pretty much write itself."
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