Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

April 1993


Published in Journal of Adolescent Research 8:2 (April 1993), pp. 167–182. Copyright © 1993 Sage Publications, Inc. Used by permission. A REF="">


The relation between educational investment and sexual behavior was examined longitudinally in a sample of 479 rural adolescents. Surveys were administered to the subjects twice—once when they were in the 8th, 9th, and 10th grades, and again 2 years later when they were in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades. Results indicated that among girls, educational investment predicted sexual activity, with academic grades in school significantly predicting reported frequency of sexual activity 2 years later. In contrast for boys, sexual involvement predicted later educational investment, particularly involvement in academic activities. These findings suggest different developmental patterns for boys and girls. For girls, academic involvement may limit their sexual activity. However sexual activity does not seem to reduce educational involvement. In contrast, sexual activity is associated with less involvement in academic activities for boys. The possible reasons for these gender differences are discussed.