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Bill McCarthy and Teresa Casey (2008)

Love, Sex, and Crime: Adolescent Romantic Relationships and Offending

American Sociological Review, 73(6):944--969.

Scholars are often pessimistic about adolescent dating, linking it to increases in depression, interpersonal violence, conflict with parents, school failure, associations with delinquents, substance use, and offending. Yet, the various dimensions of dating may have opposing consequences. The closeness offered by adolescent romantic love may fill an important void found between the weakening of bonds with parents and the onset of adult attachments, and it may discourage an array of negative outcomes, including involvement in crime. Adolescent sexual activity, in contrast, may increase offending, in part by augmenting the strain created by relationships. When coupled with a romantic relationship, however, sex is likely less stressful and consequential for crime. In this article, we analyze patterns of romance, sexual behavior, and adolescent crime with panel data from the nationally representative Adolescent Health Survey. Findings support our expectations regarding differential effects of romance and sex. We conclude by discussing the implications of these results for understanding adolescent delinquency, social attachments, and development. Adapted from the source document.

*Sexual Behavior, *Love, *Juvenile Offenders, *Crime Rates, *Adolescent Development, article, 2147: social problems and social welfare; sociology of crime
Esther I Wilder, and Toni Terling Watt. ``Risky parental behavior and adolescent sexual activity at first coitus.'' The Milbank Quarterly 80:3 2002: 481-524

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