Here are their major conclusions:
- Female athletes are less likely to get pregnant. Nationwide, female athletes are less than half as likely to get pregnant as female non-athletes.
- Female athletes are more likely to be virgins.
- Female athletes have their first intercourse later in adolescence.
- Female athletes have sex less often.
- Female athletes have fewer sex partners.
- Mixed results for male athletes. One study shows male athletes becoming sexually active earlier than male non-athletes. A national study found similar results for African-American male athletes v. non athletes.
- Both male and female athletes are more likely to use contraceptives.
From the report: “Our results strongly suggest that, for girls, sports may be used as a developmental strategy in programs intended to reduce teen pregnancy.”
“We contend that sports are a cultural resource that builds girls’ confidence, sense of physical empowerment, and social recognition within the school and community. Girls may be using the self-reliance and social status gained through athletic participation to resist social pressures to exchange sex for approval or popularity.”