Get High and Get Stupid: The Effect of Alcohol and Marijuana Use on Teen Sexual Behavior
Numerous studies have documented a strong correlation between substance use and teen sexual behavior, and this empirical relationship has given rise to a widespread belief that substance use causes teens to engage in risky sex. This causal link is often used by advocates to justify policies targeted at reducing substance use. Here, we argue that previous research has not produced sufficient evidence to substantiate a causal relationship between substance use and teen sexual behavior. Accordingly, we attempt to estimate causal effects using two complementary research approaches. Our findings suggest that substance use is not causally related to teen sexual behavior, although we cannot definitively rule out that possibility.
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