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Teen sex 'can't hurt education'

Teenagers who have sex in committed relationships do no worse at school than those who stay virgins, according to a new study.

Sex in relationships is largely harmless to academic achievement but can have an adverse effect on students who are not romantically involved.

Experts from the University of California Davis and the University of Minnesota in the US looked at teenage experiences of studying and sex.

While previous studies found sex had a negative impact on schooling, they argued that no research looked at the context in which teenagers sleep together.

The data was collected from more than 90,000 teenagers and showed that those who had sex outside a relationship were less likely to expect to go to university and had lower marks than those in relationships.

But those who had sex in committed relationships performed just as well as those who stayed virgins.

Sociologists Bill McCarthy and Eric Grodsky, lead authors on the study, said: "These findings raise doubts about the veracity of sexual education programmes that link adolescent sex to a plethora of negative outcomes."

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