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For several decades, the federal government has supported programs that encourage adolescents to wait to have sex. This support stems in part from the evidence and expectations that delaying sexual activity can have important benefits for adolescents and society as a whole. The most direct of these benefits are reductions in teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). However, research has also found benefits of delayed sexual activity extending beyond these physical outcomes...

This brief summarizes findings from a random assignment impact study of Wise Guys, a long-standing, widely implemented curriculum designed to help adolescent males make responsible decisions about their sexual behavior. Nationwide, boys report higher rates of sexual risk behaviors than girls do. In addition, becoming a father as a teenager is associated with completing fewer years of schooling and being less likely to graduate from high school...

Policymakers and practitioners are interested in identi­fying strategies and approaches to empower youth to make informed decisions that promote optimal health. Such decisions include the avoidance and cessation of sexual risk. Identifying the factors that influence youth’s decisions to avoid or cease sexual activity can support policymak­ers, practitioners, and public health officials as they develop programming and policy to improve risk-related outcomes...