Det har lenge vært rådende oppfatning at ungdommer som debuterer seksuelt i ung alder også er mer tilbøyelige til å involvere seg i kriminelle aktiviteter i ung alder, men en ny studie utført på tvillinger har nå avkreftet denne sammenhengen:
Like many of the newer studies, the latest one — led by Paige Harden, a doctoral candidate in psychology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville — used the powerful techniques of behavioral genetics. The field specializes in studies on twins, research that can help tell whether behavioral traits are the result of genes or the social environment, and that has periodically stirred controversy when it has focused on the genetic underpinnings of criminality and intelligence.
But the specialty’s analytic methods can also help tell whether one behavior, such as early sex, is merely correlated with or actually causes a second behavior that is often found with it, such as delinquency. If two behaviors often exist in the same people but are found not to be connected by cause and effect, then a third factor is likely to be causing both.