The goal of this project is to identify the economic savings associated with teens’ delay of sex. The project will engage key stakeholders to identify targeted research questions and to operationalize core variables. Prior work that assessed costs associated with teen pregnancy and births will be considered, including the identification of outcomes associated with delayed sexual initiation, calculation of causal effects of sexual delay on outcomes, and assignment of dollar values to causal effects. The project will consult with experts and identify existing data sets that can be analyzed to assess the range of benefits gained as teens delay sexual debut. This study will also examine costs and benefits beyond the physical consequences of teen childbearing and acquisition of STDs. Both individual-level and national-level costs and benefits gained when teens avoid sex, and not just pregnancy, will be considered for incremental stages, including waiting until marriage before having sex.
The primary activities that will inform the economic savings analysis include: (1) targeted literature review, (2) discussions with experts, and (3) limited analysis of existing data sets.
This project is being conducted under contract to Mathematica Policy Research and is overseen by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, in collaboration with other partners at the Administration for Children and Families and HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health.
The points of contact are Caryn Blitz and Kathleen McCoy.