New York: Teenage girls and young women aged 14-19 who are focused on their careers are less likely to be sexually active, a study has indicated.
Such girls have higher levels of maturity and more confidence in their beliefs, noted researchers from University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Senior psychology student Kelly Arnold, under the supervision of assistant psychology professor Aurora Torres, monitored posts on Internet forums used by teenage girls to assess their degree of maturity and confidence related to their sexual behaviour.
Arnold then categorised them according to their attitudes about sex.
The attitudes toward teenaged girls engaging in sexual behaviour were categorised as either believing sexual activity was wrong, believing it was OK or having already become active but feeling guilty about it.
She noted that each girl`s attitude towards adolescent sexual behaviour and observed what positions they took on the forums and whether they gave advice or took it.
“The more mature and confident they were, the less likely they were to be engaged in risk-taking behaviour such as sex,” Arnold observed in a report on Medical Xpress website.
The decision to delay sexual activity may be a product of having a future-oriented time perspective, she added.
"If you choose to abstain, you are protecting your future goals but you may have as a result some negative pressures right now" due to peer pressure and media portrayals of sex, she said.
According to Arnold, the definition of what constituted sexual activity among this age group was very narrow and knowledge of the risks associated with any sexual contact was limited.